CHERRYVILLE — Two three-run innings were the downfall for Rutherford County Post 423 as the team dropped its state tournament opener to Wilmington Post 10 on Wednesday afternoon, 6-3.
Post 423 would strike first though as David Sessoms delivered a two-out double in the top of the first and advanced to third on a single through the six-hole by Aidin Strange. Two pitches later, Strange broke for second and once the catcher threw down, Sessoms broke for the plate and scored to give Post 423 a 1-0 lead.
Post 423 pitcher Tripp Triplett worked around a two-out single to leave his team in front.
The visitors from Rutherford County looked poised to stretch out their lead as Micajah Wall singled to begin the inning. On the next pitch however, Wall was picked off by the catcher. Alex Clark then picked up a single of his own. After a strikeout, Je’Shaun Gill also singled to put runners on first and second, but a popout to short ended the frame.
Triplett got ahead of the first Wilmington batter in the bottom of the second 0-2, but four straight balls allowed him to reach. Two batters later, Jaxson Croom doubled down the right field line to put two men on for Aleck Creech, who promptly hit a three-run homer over the right field fence, putting Post 10 ahead 3-1.
Walker Waters would single in the top of the third, but was thrown out trying to steal second as Post 423 trailed 3-1 after 2.5 innings.
Post 10 added three more runs in the third, all coming with two outs.
Bennett McNeil drew a two-out walk and scored on a Barrett Swails double. Swails then scored on a Jaxson King RBI double. King would then score on an error to put Post 10 ahead 6-1.
Post 423 looked to cut into the deficit in the top of the fourth as Strange singled and Wall walked to begin the inning, but back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout ended the threat.
Triplett worked around an one-out walk in the bottom of the fourth to keep the deficit where it was.
Both teams went fairly quietly in the fifth, but the top of the sixth would be a much different story. After a popout, Strange and Wall both singled and Riley Stanley reached on an error, which allowed Strange to score to cut the deficit to 6-2. Gill then singled to center to score Wall and cut the deficit to 6-3. Clayton Brown would popout in foul territory for the third out.
Triplett quickly set down Post 10 in the bottom of the sixth to give his offense one last chance.
Sessoms walked with two outs, but Post 10 closer Ben Whitehurst struck out Strange to end the game and preserve the victory.
Post 423 will play again today (Thursday) at 10 a.m. against Kannapolis at Cherryville’s Fraley Field.
RC — 100 002 0 — 3 10 1
WI — 033 000 X — 6 6 1
WP: Tanner Collins
LP: Tripp Triplett
S: Ben Whitehurst