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Post 8 grabs lead in division

You can’t blame South Boston American Legion Post 8 Junior Legion baseball team manager Jody Nelson if you see him walking around with a big smile on his face.

The reason Nelson is smiling is that Post 8 has taken over first place in the East Division of the district.

Post 8 exploded for four runs in the first inning and scored in all but one inning enroute to a 13-3 win over Lynchburg Post 16 Red Monday night at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

“This was a huge win for us,” Nelson said.

“Lynchburg was undefeated in the division going into the game and this puts us in first place. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Post 8 pounded Lynchburg with 12 hits in the game that was stopped after five inning under a slaughter rule. Tyler Stephens, Bradley Tickle and Seth Elliott led the team with each of them having two hits and three RBIs in the contest. Will Harris also had two hits and chipped in a pair of RBIs.

Tristan Howerton, Dustin Crews. Michael Watts and Drew Link each chipped in a hit in the winning effort.

“We hit the ball really well,” Nelson pointed out.

“Seth, Tickle and Tyler had a really good night, but everybody including guys coming off of the bench was hitting the ball well. That’s big for us, especially with the middle of the lineup driving in runs for us like those guys are.”

Post 8 also got a solid night on the mound from starting pitcher Ryan Powell and from Shane Bousman who entered the game in the fourth inning. Powell was tagged for three hits and yielded three runs, but two of the three Lynchburg runs came in the first inning and resulted at least in part from a pair of Post 8 errors. In his three innings of work Powell fanned two batters and yielded three walks.

Bousman faced only seven batters over the course of the last two innings and struck out two of them. He tossed only 26 pitches.

“Our pitching was really good,” Nelson noted.

“Both of those guys did a good job for us.”

Post 8 got off to a quick start with the four of the first five batters in the game reaching base, three of them with hits. A two-RBI hit by Tickle that scored Howerton and Crews gave Post 8 a 2-0 lead, and a two-RBI hit by Link with two out pushed the Post 8 lead to 4-0.

Lynchburg got two of the runs back in the bottom of the first inning, but Post 8 extended its lead to 5-2 when Stephens reached base on an error and scored on a hit from Tickle in the top of the third inning.

After Lynchburg scored a run in the bottom of the second inning to make it a 5-3 score, it was all Post 8 the rest of the way.

Six runs in the top of the fourth inning gave Post 8 an 11-3 lead. Harris and Elliott each had a two-RBI hit in the inning, which saw Post 8 come up with five of the 12 hits it had in the contest.

A two-RBI triple by Stephens in the top of the fifth inning put Post 8 over the top with the 13-3 lead it held the rest of the way.

Post 8 was scheduled to host Rocky Mount Post 6 last night. The team’s busy week will continue with a road doubleheader against division opponent Martinsville on Thursday and will conclude Saturday with a 6 p.m. doubleheader against division opponent Madison heights Post 274.