Legion Baseball: Post 87 up 8-0 when rain halts play
In a race against an approaching storm, Post 87 came one out short of an official game Monday at Finch Field.
With two outs in the top of the fifth and the HiToms up 8-0 over Winston-Salem, lightning down the right field line sent players scurrying off the field. The tarp was rolled out just before the heavy rain hit, keeping the playing surface in the infield dry. The outfield was another story. Standing water covered the grass and the game was called, one out shy of completion. The game was to be completed in seven innings Tuesday.
Post 87 got on the board in the first inning with leadoff hitter Hayden Manuel singling to center to start things. He took second and third on a single from Cesar Trejo, then slid into home safely after a sacrifice fly by Zach McLean.
The HiToms tacked on three more runs in the third. Gesell smacked a two-run double to right-center field, then Evan Edwards brought in Gesell with an RBI single to move the advantage out to 4-0.
Dark clouds began to creep behind the grandstand in the bottom of the fourth and Post 87 head coach Rob Shore could see them clearly from the coaching box at third base. He decided to force the issue on several plays to possibly get the inning over quickly, but they wound up prolonging the frame.
With runners on the corners, Manuel got down a squeeze bunt to score the runner from third. Manuel beat the throw to first and the bases became loaded with no outs after Trejo's single. Following a strikeout, Greg White was cut down at home on a fielder's choice. Gesell then hit a grounder to second base for what could have been the final out of the inning. Instead, the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Manuel scored on the initial grounder, and Trejo forced the issue as he broke for home on the play. The throw was high allowing him to score as well. During the scramble to retrieve the overthrown ball, Ryan Hedrick darted in from third and beat the tag from the catcher. Three runs scored on the one sequence and put the HiToms up 8-0.
After two quick outs in the top of the fifth, Tanner Lomax lined a ball down the first base line that Edwards nearly speared on the dive. Lomax won the race to the bag and it wound up being the final play of the night as the game was stopped at 7:34 p.m. and eventually called by 8.
“One out away and I tried my best in the bottom of the fourth trying to get these guys out,” said Shore. “I stole my catcher twice and then we did a squeeze bunt expecting to get an out and that did not work. Then we had the ground ball by Levi to second base and had two guys try to score. Both should have been out, but that is the way it rolls.”
Bryce Lance is the pitcher on record for the HiToms, striking out six while walking two in his time on the hill.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or email@example.com.