- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
South Boston American Legion Post 8’s Tristan Howerton slides safely into third base ahead of the throw to the bag on this play in the second inning of Wednesday night’s game against Amherst Post 274 here at Halifax County High School. (Photo Courtesy Ed Fraser)
If there were any questions about the South Boston American Legion Post 8 junior legion baseball team’s ability to bounce back after Monday night’s four-hour, 12-inning marathon win, they were put to rest quickly.
With the help of a four-run rally in the third inning and a five-run outburst in the fifth inning, Post 8 ran away to a 12-2 win over Amherst Post 274 here Wednesday night at Halifax County High School.
The win was the team’s second win in a row and allowed the team to reach the .500 mark with a record that improved to 3-3 overall.
“Our goal coming into this week was to get back to .500,” noted Post 8 manager Jody Nelson.
“Now, we’ve got to get above that mark.”
Post 8 will have opportunities to improve on that record as the team concludes a busy week. Last night Post 8 was scheduled to play a road contest against Lynchburg Post 16 Blue at Heritage High School in Lynchburg.
Post 8 has a rematch against Amherst Post 274 on the road Saturday at 4 p.m. and will face Vinton Post 80 here Sunday at 5 p.m. at Halifax County High School to conclude a tough stretch that has the team playing five games over seven days.
“These guys are young and the test for them is playing all of these games in a row,” Nelson pointed out.
“The question is can they stay mentally focused. That’s what we’ve been preaching to them all along. It’s a long season.”
Post 8 fell behind early when Amherst Post 274 strung together a trio of hits off of Post 8 hurler Seth Elliott to take a 1-0 lead. But, Post 8 countered with two runs in the bottom of the frame when leadoff batter Tristan
Howerton opened with a single, stole second base and scored on a double by Dustin Crews.
Three more hits in the top of the second inning were enough for Amherst Post 274 to produce a game-tying run and deadlock the game at 2-2.
Post 8 got the upper hand with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, which opened with a one-out single from Tyler Stephens. After Andrew Hamlett reached base with a walk, Stephens stole third base and scampered home when Amherst Post 274 threw the ball away trying to make the play at third base.
Ryan Powell followed with a two-RBI triple to make the score 5-2. He made it a 6-2 score when he scored on a wild pitch a short time later.
Back-to-back doubles by Thomas Cole and Michael Watts produced a run for Post 8 in the third inning to give Post 8 a 7-2 lead.
Post 8 added five more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to produce a 12-2 lead and end the game under the mercy rule. Three of the runs came on run-scoring hits by Shane Bousman, Dustin Crews and Watts. The final two runs of the game scored when Tyler Stephens reached base on an error.
“Late in the game, the guys started hitting and taking advantage of the mistakes they (Amherst Post 274) made,” Nelson said.
“The big thing was that we started turning on some balls. That’s something we haven’t done all year. That’s a credit to Dan Powell and my other coaches. We’ve really been working hard with them on driving down to the baseball. It’s paying off.”
Elliott had a good night on the mound for Post 8. After having yielded three hits in each of the first two innings, Elliott settled down and allowed only two hits over the final three innings. He fanned two batters and walked one.
Offensively, Post 8 had 11 hits with Crews, Ryan Powell and Watts leading the way with two hits and two RBIs each. Thomas Cole came off of the bench to go 2-2 at the plate.
Howerton, Stephens and Bousman had one hit each.
Amherst Post 274
1 1 0 0 0-2
So. Boston Post
8 2 0 4 1 5-12