Post 43 a game away from elimination
Kinston Post 43's Malik Dixon hits a double in the bottom of the first against Pitt County Post 39 Tuesday at Kinston High School. Photo by William 'Bud' Hardy / Neuse News
For the second straight night, Kinston Post 43 fell victim to a Pitt County Post 39 explosion.
Pitt County now has its opponent on the brink of elimination following a 19-3 victory in Game 2 of the American Legion Area 1 East Playoffs Tuesday. After scoring eight runs in the fourth to register a 12-2 victory the previous day, Post 39 scored nine in the fifth and sixth innings to take control of the game and the series.
Kinston started on a positive note again in the first, this time at home. After Malik Dixon's leadoff double, Colby McLawhorn and Camden Noble later hit RBI singles to put the team ahead 2-0. Pitt County cut the deficit in half on a Drew Nichols run-scoring base knock in the top of the second, but couldn't capitalize on other opportunities. Post 39 stranded six batters in the first four innings while Kinston maintained its 2-1 lead.
The problem area occurred in the top of the fifth. After Kinston retired the first two batters, Pitt County's next 11 batters reached safely, highlighted by two-run singles from Michael Crumpler and Robbie O'Neal to go ahead 10-2. Post 43 got a run in the bottom of the frame on a Garrett Tyndall sacrifice fly, but Pitt County picked up another nine in the sixth as 13 batters saw the plate. The 10-run rule was put into effect as Kinston couldn't make an impact in the bottom of the sixth.
Kinston manager Ty Eason said there was a positive in the offensive production with nine hits compared to Monday's four, but the defense had its troubles again.
"I challenged the guys to have a better approach at the plate and for the most part we did," Eason said. "Unfortunately, we had some miscues and a few lucky hits falling didn't make things better for us."
Kinston will try to stave off elimination in Game 3, Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Pitt Community College.