Legion Playoffs: Post 87 inches closer to Area III finals
Another big first inning paved the way for Post 87 to beat Mooresville 13-5 Monday at Finch Field.
Though the HiToms were never really challenged by Post 66, the performance was just an average one in the eyes of skipper Rob Shore. If his team is to finish off the Moors in the Area III semifinal series and possibly advance to the state tournament, he feels they must do much better moving forward.
“You should never complain when you have 13 runs, ever,” he said after the HiToms won the third game in the best-of-5 series to go up 2-1. “We wasted more opportunities tonight. There were four or five more runs that we should have put up to be honest. And I don't complain about our pitching much, but there was only one 1-2-3 inning all night.
“We have to get on and get off fast. The more opportunities you give people, the more they are going to feel like they're in game. That was the first time in a long time that we have had only one three-up, three-down inning.”
Hayden Manuel can be excluded from the talk. The infielder strung together four hits, driving in two runs and scoring twice. He was absent from the second game of the series Sunday due to illness. Post 87 dropped that one 4-2. His presence in the lineup makes a big difference for the offense.
“We are 1-5 when Hayden is not in the lineup and we have only lost six games all year,” Shore said. “He was back tonight and had four hits for us. It's crazy how one person makes a difference.”
Post 87 had 13 hits and five of them came in the first inning after the Moors took a 2-0 lead.
The HiToms had just one man on with two outs, but a pair of walks loaded the bases. Evan Edwards continued his clutch hitting in the playoffs with a drive to right field that scored two runs to tie the game. Ben Fischer immediately followed with a hit in almost the exact same spot, bringing two more runners across the plate to double up the Moors. Ryan Kahny tacked on the fifth run, singling in Fischer.
Mooresville got a run back in the second, but the two-run deficit was as close as they would remain the rest of the night.
Kahny started on the hill for the HiToms but came up one out shy of getting a decision as he was relieved in the fifth by Ryan Hedrick.
“When it is all said and done no matter how unhappy I am about a win, we won,” said Shore.
Notes: Edwards notched two hits and three RBIs, while Fischer also had two hits and pair of RBIs … McLean added a solo home run in the third inning … The game took nearly four hours to complete.