Post 29 suffers first conference loss to Haywood
Caldwell County Post 29 suffered its first conference loss of the season, dropping a 9-8 nail biter in extra innings to Haywood County Post 47 on Tuesday in Waynesville.
In the bottom of the 11th inning with two outs, Mark Thompson singled and advanced to second on an error by Post 29. The very next batter, Levi Duffield hit a ground ball, but an errant throw by the 29ers allowed Duffield to reach first and Thompson to score from second to win the game.
“When you’re playing almost every day with a schedule like we have, you’re going to have some of these games where you don’t play your best,” said Caldwell head coach Brandon Banks. “But we’ll bounce back and go after Cherryville on Friday.”
Post 29 (10-2 overall, 4-1 Area IV West) scored its eight runs on just three hits. Out of the eight runs, only two of them were earned.
“You can’t expect to win with just three hits,” Banks said. “It’s almost unheard of scoring eight runs on just three hits. We left too many runners in scoring position and you can’t expect to win when you do that.”
Caldwell scored quickly in the first inning. Trevor Beane was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Austin Miller. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Beane came in to score on an RBI groundout by Zac Walker.
Post 47 fired right back in the bottom of the first with an RBI groundout by Thomas Thatum and an RBI single by Thompson. Tatum finished the game with three hits and seven RBIs.
In the top of the second, the 29ers scored on a throwing error by Haywood. Phillip Page was attempting to steal third when the throw from the catcher sailed into the outfield, allowing Page to score to tie the game at two.
Post 29 took control of the game in the third with four runs. With the bases loaded and no outs, Taylor Purus reached on an error that allowed Austin miller to score. Grayam Austin then hit an RBI sacrifice bunt to score Nick Horning. Page followed with a sacrifice fly to score Walker and Purus scored on a Haywood error.
After starting Luke Watts retired the first batter of the fourth inning, the umpires called for a sun delay. The sun was setting behind center field, making it difficult for the players to see the ball at home plate. Play resumed about 20 minutes later.
Once play resumed, Thatum hit a three-run double to tie the game at 6-6. This brought in Miller on to relieve Watts.
“In Luke’s defense, it’s hard to stop and start like that as a pitcher,” said Banks. He got that first out and was looking good. But Austin Miller came in and did exactly what we needed him to do to win. We just didn’t execute at the plate.”
Miller went on throw the remainder of the game, striking out 13 Haywood batters in seven and one-third innings.
“He’s (Miller) looked real impressive in his two appearances so far,” Banks said. “That’s exactly the performance we expect from him.”
Post 29 re-took the lead in the sixth when Beane hit an RBI bunt single to score Page. However, the Post 47 Dragoons came right back when Thatum hit a two-run blast deep over the left field fence.
The 29ers tied the game in the eighth when Beane scored on a bases loaded walk by Purus.
Haywood then won the game on the errors committed by Caldwell in the 11th inning.
Post 29 returns to action on Friday when it plays host to archrival Cherryville Post 100 at M.S. Deal Stadium at 7 p.m.