Home Local Sports Way’s 5 RBIs difference maker in win over Post 129

Way’s 5 RBIs difference maker in win over Post 129

ROSports File Photo: Cameron Way kept his bat hot in Tuesday's win, collecting two extra-base hits and 5 RBIs. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

WILMINGTON — Cameron Way had himself a night on the mound and at the plate in Hamlet’s return to the diamond on Tuesday.

The Hamlet American Legion baseball team started its final push of the regular season with an 8-5 win over Pleasure Island Post 129, completing the season sweep.

Way started the game on the mound for Post 49 and threw 4.0 strong innings. He allowed just one run on three hits and added five strikeouts to his line.

But Way did most of his damage at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and a game-high five RBIs.

“We played great tonight, especially coming back after a week off,” head coach Chip Gordon said. “The guys had fresh arms and legs and this win really gave us a way to restart and reboot in the final stretch of the season.

“Cameron and Ryley (Norton) both had a great night at the plate, and really our entire lineup one through nine all hit well,” he added. “We made some adjustments after the first time through the order to start putting runs on the board.”

Post 129 scored a run in the bottom of the first for an early lead, but a four-run top of the third by Hamlet shifted the momentum.

A one-out triple by Nick DiCarlo, one of his two hits in the game, was followed by Tristan Hunt reaching safely after a hit-by-pitch. 

With runners on the corners, Way unleashed on the first offering from starting pitcher Dylan Welch (4.0 innings, six runs, seven hits) for a three-run blast. Marking his third homer of the summer, Way’s trip around the bases sailed over the left field wall.

An error on a Finley Spicer pop fly was followed by a double from Norton to center field, one of his team-high three hits in the win. Tanner Cheek added to the lead when he lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Spicer.

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Way, who is batting .480 this season, drove in his team-leading 17th and 18th RBIs in his next at-bat in the top of the fourth. 

Delivering with two outs, Way roped a two-RBI double to the wall in center, scoring DiCarlo (single) and Hunt (hit-by-pitch). That extra-base hit, Way’s ninth of the summer, made it a 6-1 lead.

Way faced just four batters in the home half before Ra’Nik Little added to the lead in the top of the fifth. Registering Hamlet’s fifth extra-base hit of the game, Little hit a two-RBI double to center, plating Norton (single) and Cheek (walk).

The seven-run lead would prove to be enough, as a trio of pitchers closed the door in the final three innings. Spicer tossed a scoreless bottom of the fifth, and was followed by Cheek in the sixth and Hunt in the seventh.

Post 129 scored a run in the sixth and three runs in the seventh before Hunt earned the save.

Hamlet had nine hits in the win, led by Norton (three), DiCarlo (two) and Way (two). Cheek and Little both had one hit and combined for three RBIs.

“We pitched well and Cameron did great through four innings,” Gordon closed. “Finley, Tanner and Tristan all did their job in the last three innings. This was a good team victory heading into our regular-season finale.”

Improving to 11-7, Hamlet will host Wilmington Post 10 Veterans on Thursday to close its season before the playoffs. 

It will also be an alumni night to recognize former players and coaches. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-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.