- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
It was one of those games that seemingly would never end. Thanks to some sharp hitting by South Boston Post 8 it did.
With one out and runners at first base and third base in the bottom of the 12th inning, Andrew Hamlett rapped an outside pitch to right centerfield to plate the game-winning run and lift the South Boston American Legion Post 8 Junior American Legion baseball team to a 5-4 win over Roanoke Post 3 here Monday night.
The win improved Post 8’s record to 2-3 overall heading into tonight’s 7 p.m. home game at Halifax County High School against Amherst Post 274.
“He (Post 8 Manager Jody Nelson) called a safety squeeze and the ball was outside so I took it,” Hamlett said.
“Then, I was thinking to myself he (the Roanoke Post 3 pitcher) is going to try to throw another one (pitch) outside. I just went with the pitch.”
The hit scored Will Harris for the game-winning run in the inning that had gotten off to a shaky start.
Seth Elliott reached base on an error to start the inning, but got caught up in a rundown and was tagged out while attempting to steal second base with Harris at the plate.
Harris came up with a hit, moved to second base on a passed ball and advanced to third base on a hit by Michael Watts. Hamlett followed with the game-winning hit.
“We had so many big opportunities,” noted Nelson.
“They (Roanoke Post 3) just kept taking the wind out of us right when we were building on something. There were three instances where we should have scored from third (base) and didn’t.”
The big hit by Hamlett in the 12th inning was the second time in the game that Hamlett had come up big for Post 8. With Post 8 trailing 4-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the final inning of regulation, Hamlett came up with a base hit with two outs that scored Harris to deadlock the game at 4-4.
With two out in the inning, Harris walked and moved to second base when Watts reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Hamlett’s single scored Harris to tie the game.
Those two hits and two RBIs from Hamlett were the difference-makers for Post 8, which had 10 hits in the contest.
Ryan Powell and Dustin Crews had two hits each for Post 8. Harris, Watts, Josh Briggs and Tyler Stephens each had one hit in the winning effort.
Post 8 also got a solid pitching effort from starter Shane Bousman and relief hurlers Seth Elliott and Justin Womack.
Womack, who pitched the final five innings, fanned seven batters and allowed only two hits and one walk.
South Boston trailed from the outset, but had some potential scoring opportunities go by the wayside. Roanoke Post 3 took away a couple of opportunities with outstanding defensive plays and South Boston Post 8 ran itself out of a trio of opportunities.
After Post 8 had scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, Watts was thrown out at the plate on an attempted double steal that involved Hamlett, who had reached base with a hit.
Ryan Powell, who had smacked a two-out double in the bottom of the 10th inning, was thrown out attempting to steal third base. Then, in the last inning Elliott was nabbed in a rundown while attempting to steal second base.
Still it was a great effort for Post 8.
“This is definitely something we can build on,” Nelson pointed out.
“Their grit and heart kept them in it.”
Roanoke Post 3
2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-4
South Boston Post 8
0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1-5
Pictured above: South Boston American Legion Post 8’s Dustin Crews dives into third base just ahead of the throw to the bag to complete a triple in the bottom of the fourth inning of Monday night’s game here against Roanoke Post 3 at Halifax County High School. Photo Courtesy Ed Fraser