American Legion Baseball
Portsmouth Post 23 11, Jackson Post 81 10
Behind yet another gritty effort, Portsmouth Post 23 was able to take home a critical victory over Jackson Post 81 as Post 23 overcame an early deficit to obtain an 11-10 victory over Post 81 on the campus of Oak Hill High School in a contest that was played on Thursday evening.
Jared Morrow, who got the start on Thursday evening, battled through 12 Post 81 hits to keep Post 23 right in the heat of the battle. While it wasn’t Morrow’s best outing from a line standpoint, the poised senior-to-be never gave in en route to throwing four-and-two-thirds innings, and four-and-two-thirds of crucial innings at that, for a shorthanded Post 23 squad. Will Darling, who has had a strong summer in his own right with Post 23, threw two-and-one-third innings of two-hit baseball en route to keeping Post 23 in the driver’s seat.
“Jared really battled on the mound,” Post 23 head coach Matt Miller said. “Post 81 is a good-hitting ballclub, and they had 12 hits, but Jared didn’t give in and battled the entire time. I’m very proud of Jared. Then Will came in, threw the ball well, and got some big outs to finish it off. We’re a little short-handed right now with vacations and injuries, but I love the fight in this team.”
At the plate, Jesse Jones showed off another strong plate performance by going 2-for-4 with a double, four RBI, and a run scored, while Jaden Jessee, who received playing time on the Senior Legion unit after starring with the Juniors, took advantage of his opportunity by going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Jarrett Stamper (2-for-4, two runs scored), Brayden Davis (1-for-3, two runs scored), and Seth Nichols (1-for-3, run scored) continued to show their dependability with their outings as Post 23 used the efforts of the quintet to finish with eight hits in the contest.
“I’m just very proud of the boys,” Miller said. “We got ourselves in a hole early, but we didn’t give in and continued to battle all game. We had eight hits in the game, but were also patient by collecting nine walks and a hit by pitch.”
With the victory, Post 23 moved to 7-7 overall. Portsmouth played Hillsboro Post 129 in a doubleheader that was held at 5 p.m. on Friday evening in Hillsboro.
Caldwell County (N.C.) Post 29 4, Waverly Post 142 Shockers 1
Despite a pair of hits from Jalen Miller and six combined innings where Tanner Cunningham and Marty Knittel gave up just one earned run on the hill, the Waverly Post 142 Shockers’ baseball program fell by a 4-1 count to the Caldwell County (N.C.) Post 29 baseball program by a 4-1 tally on Thursday evening at M.S. Deal Stadium in Granite Falls, N.C.
Other than allowing a solo home run to Sabion Thomas, Cunningham pitched well once again on Thursday, giving up just six hits while striking out a trio of Post 29 batters across four innings of work, but four Post 142 errors proved costly in the 4-1 loss for the Shockers, who fell to 12-5 overall. Knittel threw two perfect innings of work in relief to close the book on the outing.
“Caldwell County executed better than we did,” Post 142 head coach Jonathan Teeters said. “The difference in the game was us having four errors and them having none. Tanner worked out of some tough situations and kept us in the game, but we didn’t execute behind him. I told our guys that baseball is a simple game when you get down to it. Whichever team catches, throws, and hits the ball the best normally comes out on top. It just wasn’t us (on Thursday).”
At the plate, Miller led the way by going 2-for-3, while Cunningham (1-for-3, double, run scored), Knittel (1-for-2, walk), Cade Powell (1-for-3, RBI), Kannon Pack (1-for-3), Nate Keiser (1-for-3), and Ian Gillen (walk) contributed to the offensive showing for Waverly. Powell’s two-out single, which scored Cunningham in the fourth inning, was the only salvo for the Shockers on the evening.
Waverly Post 142 played Hickory (N.C.) Post 48 on Friday afternoon.