Post 423 ends season with loss to Gaston
Facing elimination, Rutherford County Post 423 would not go quietly, but they left the tying runs on base in the bottom of the ninth in a 5-3 loss to the Gaston Braves Monday at McNair Field.
The loss completes the 3-0 series sweep for the Braves and ends Post 423’s season at 6-13.
“We fought so hard during the whole series,” said manager Sam Hooper. ”We had runners all series we just could not get them in. Tonight we left the bases loaded in one inning and four on in the last two and we could not get it done. We fought though and I’m proud of that
After Conner Dailey worked a perfect top of the first with two strikeouts, Brock Helton led off with a double to deep centerfield. Two outs later, Trent Self blooped a single over the infield and Helton came home to put Post 423 up 1-0.
After Dailey struck out two more batters in the second, Rutherford put runners on the corners but Brent McCollum rapped into a double play to end the inning.
After a quiet third, by both teams, Dailey ran into trouble in the fourth. He gave up a single and hit two batters to load the bases. Aarron Biggerstaff delivered a two-run double down the left field line. Nate Buchannon followed with a sacrifice fly to make the tally 3-1.
Rutherford County loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half but McCollum struck out on three pitches to end the threat.
Things got dicey in the middle innings as both dugouts were warned for arguing balls and strikes. Braves left fielder Andrew Locklear was then ejected in the top of the fifth but pitcher Morgan Rhom kept Post 423 off balance and his team still led 3-1 after six frames.
Dailey ran into trouble again in the seventh, allowing two straight hits. He was then replaced by Helton who gave up a infield single that made the tally 4-1 before a lightning delay halted the action in the bottom half of the seventh inning.
After the delay, the 423 offense plated their second run of the game. With one out McCollum was hit by pitch and stole second. Helton followed with a RBI double that cut the deficit to 4-2.
The rally continued in the eighth. Self hit a long single off the top of the left field wall and moved to second on a wild pitch by reliever Buchannon. He scored on a single that found chalk on the left field line. Tj Fincher followed with a sacrifice bunt, but after an errant throw, he was ruled safe. As a result runners were on first and second with no outs before action was stopped for a second time due to lightning.
After a 25 minute delay, Jordan Strickland struck out looking and Colton Snethan grounded into an inning-ending double play to leave the score at 4-3.
The Braves added a big insurance run when Jarky Hopkins reached third on an infield single and a two base error. He came home on a sacrifice fly by Thomas Nantz.
Post 423 did bring the winning run to the plate in the form of Self but he struck out looking to end the game and the season.
American Legion baseball
at McNair Field
Monday, July 8, 2013
Gaston 5, Post 423 3
G. Braves 000 300 101 5 7 1
Post 423 100 000 110 3 10 1
WP: M. Rhom
LP: C. Dailey
SV: A. Biggerstaff