Home Local Sports Post 49 drops regular-season finale, prepares for Area 2 playoffs

Post 49 drops regular-season finale, prepares for Area 2 playoffs

Ra'Nes Little drives through his RBI single during Thursday's loss to Post 10. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

HAMLET — The regular-season finale didn’t go the way the Hamlet American Legion baseball team wanted it to on Thursday.

A slow first inning hindered by what head coach Chip Gordon called “an off night” by the starting pitching, Hamlet dropped a 12-2 decision to Wilmington Post 10 Veterans in five innings.

It was alumni night at Memorial Park, as several former players and coaches from the last five decades were recognized before the game.

“Tonight’s game was a game we really wanted to win to lock up the three seed in the playoffs,” Gordon said. “Now we have to have a few things to go our way to get that, and if not, we’ll still have home field advantage.

“We didn’t pitch very well, we walked a lot of guys and pitched behind in way too many counts,” he continued. “But we did hit the ball well at times, it was just right at them. You can’t defend the walk and can’t win when you don’t put runs on the board.”

Wilmington jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning off starting pitcher Chaz Witmore (0.1 inning, four runs, two hits). Finley Spicer took over and went 2.2 innings and gave up four runs on four hits and struck out four batters.

Four more runs in the top of the third, followed by two more runs in the fourth gave Post 10 an 8-0 lead.

Hamlet scored both of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Ra’Nes Little singled on a hard ground ball back up the middle to score Cameron Way, who led off the inning with a double down the line.


In the next at-bat, pinch hitter Kole Dutton delivered an RBI groundout to short, giving Tanner Cheek (fielder’s choice) time to score from third.

Post 10 regained a 10-run advantage in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly and a passed ball. Hamlet got two runners on with one out in the bottom half, but didn’t score.

Ra’Nik Little threw the final 2.0 innings for Post 49. He struck out four batters and allowed four runs on three hits.

Hamlet registered just four hits in the loss, including a double each from Spicer and Way. Ra’Nes Little had an RBI single and Nick DiCarlo added a base knock.

“We’ll take the weekend off to rest and relax,” Gordon closed. “Then we’ll come out Monday and refocus with three good days of practice and get ready for whichever team we’ll host in the playoffs.”

The 49ers finished the regular season with an 11-8 overall record and a 8-6 mark against Area 2 opponents. The 11 wins were eight more than last season.

Now Hamlet will await the final conference standings and open the first round of the Area 2 playoffs on July 10. The opponent of the best-of-three series is still to be determined.

Note: The Richmond Observer will publish a second article, complete with a photo gallery and video interviews, of Thursday’s alumni game.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.