Home Local Sports Rain-delayed opener ends in loss for Hamlet juniors

Rain-delayed opener ends in loss for Hamlet juniors

Keith Cummings scores following Drew Gause's base hit in the second inning. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

HAMLET — The season opener for the Hamlet American Legion junior baseball team didn’t go as it wanted to Wednesday.

Following a nearly 90-minute rain delay, Hamlet lost 19-4 to Randolph Post 45 in a three-inning game. 

Hamlet used three pitchers — Ashton Phifer, Michael Osentowski and Noah Stubbs. Post 45 scored three runs in the first and eight runs in both the second and third innings.

Hamlet scored two runs in the second frame and added its final two runs in the bottom of the third.

“Obviously a lot of negatives tonight,” assistant coach Bryce Dixon said. “We will be making a lot of changes and be moving some guys around. Our pitching has to throw strikes — we had a lot of guys with two strikes but couldn’t get the job done. 

“There were a lot of positives in the at-bats,” he added. “There were some of the younger guys who came in and swung the bat well. We’ll just move the lineup around to see what we can do with it.”

Phifer started on the mound and pitched one inning. He gave up eight runs (seven earned) on three hits, six walks and had two strikeouts.

Osentowski inherited a 7-0 deficit with no outs and a runner on second base in the second inning. He also threw one inning, surrendering eight runs (seven earned) on three hits and five free passes.


Closing out the final inning on the mound, Stubbs allowed three earned runs on two hits and two walks. Osentowski and Stubbs each recorded one strikeout.

Osentowski led off the bottom of the second with a base on balls and later stole second. Keith Cummings laid down a perfect bunt single toward third for an infield hit to put runners on the corners.

Following the first and second outs, an errant pickoff attempt from the catcher to third allowed Osentowski to score on the error. Moving up 90 feet was Cummings, who scored in the next at-bat when Drew Gause hit a line drive single to left field.

Hamlet used a Phifer walk and singles by Preston Fann and Steve James to load the bases with no outs in the third. Phifer made a good read on a passed ball to race home from third and score.

With runners in scoring position, Stubbs did a job and recorded an RBI on a ground out to second base, scoring Phifer.

Post 49’s only other hit in the game off starting pitcher Ajay Myrick came courtesy of Jabari Douglas, a hard ground ball to left field in the first inning.

Hamlet (0-1) will host Davidson County Post 8 Thursday at Memorial Park. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

The Richmond Observer will publish a photo gallery of Wednesday’s season opener soon.