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SoBo Post 8 faces elimination in district tourney

The South Boston American Legion Post 8 Junior Legion baseball team faces an uphill climb if it is to win the District 9 Tournament, following a 4-2 loss to Big Island Post 217 Saturday at Halifax County High School.

Post 8, which won its opener Friday 13-3 over Martinsville Post 42 in six innings, needs three straight wins to take home the tournament championship, beginning with a game Sunday night against Martinsville.

It then must defeat Big Island twice tonight in order to win the District 9 Tournament.

Post 8 managed only five hits off Post 217 hurler Tyler Bell, a third-inning single by Shane Bousman, a fourth-inning double by Will Harris and fourth-inning RBI hit by Bradley Tickle.

Michael Watts was stranded after a two-out single in the fifth inning, and Tristan Howerton singled in the seventh inning, where Post 8 scored its final run on a hit batsman (Seth Elliott), sacrifice bunt (Shane Bousman), Howerton base hit and balk.

Post 217 scored two runs off a leadoff walk, fielder’s choice, wild pitch and error in the third inning, before Post 8 turned a double play to avoid further damage.

Tickle’s RBI hit in the fourth got Post 8 to within 2-1, but Post 217 added two runs in the top of the seventh off a single, double and Post 8 throwing error on a pickoff attempt.

South Boston hurler Ryan Powell took the loss, despite allowing only four hits in six and two-thirds innings.

Powell struck out one batter and walked two, and reliever Justin Womack got a groundout to end the top of the seventh.

Post 8 Manager Jody Nelson was optimistic his team could win three straight games to win the tournament.

“We didn’t hit the ball very well, and the guy (Bell) kept us off balance,” said Nelson.

“We had a good approach and hit a lot of fly balls, but the wind was blowing in and they just died.”

“Ryan threw a great game and Tripp (Bennett) made a couple of exceptional plays in right field on some fly balls.  One was just out of his reach, and they scored, and that’s tough.”

“The guys battled, and I can’t be upset about that,” Nelson added.

“On the bright side, we beat them (Big Island) in a double header before this season.  If we can win tomorrow (Sunday), I think that bodes well for Monday.”