Kinston Post 43 has 8-game winning streak snapped Tuesday
Kinston Post 43’s Brendon Grant hit a 2-run single in the second inning of Tuesday’s contest against Pitt County Post 39. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
Kinston Post 43 was well on its way to another dominant victory, but Pitt County Post 39 changed the narrative.
In a matchup of American Legion heavyweights, Pitt County Post 39 picked up a come-from-behind 8-6 win over Kinston Post 43 Tuesday at the Ronnie Battle Baseball Complex at Kinston High School. Pitt (11-3) lost the first meeting 1-0 on June 3 and trailed 6-0 heading into the fifth before staging a major comeback.
“As coaches, we told the guys ‘we haven’t done anything wrong — (Kinston) is just hitting the ball well early,’” Pitt County Post 39 coach Ryan Meadows said. “We got behind early, but our guys just stayed together in what was our best game of the season. Over the past few weeks we had played like individuals, but this time around we were a team — there’s no way we come back against a team this good without that.”
Kinston Post 43 (10-2) had won eight straight coming into Tuesday’s matchup and wasted no time swinging the bats. In the first inning, an RBI double from Trey McLawhorn sandwiched between run-scoring singles by Cameron Butler and Ethan May put the team ahead by three and in the bottom of the second, a 2-run base knock from Brendon Grant, along with Jon Howard’s RBI single had Kinston ahead 6-0.
The score remained the same until the top of the fifth when Pitt County Post 39 made its run, benefitting from three walks and two hits batsmen. Robbie O’Neal’s bases-loaded single brought him two runs and an error on the relay scored a third, followed by a 2-run single from Shane Rademacher. When a wild pitch brought home another run, the score was tied at 6.
In the top of the seventh, Pitt County had a two-out rally after Cam Jackson’s fly ball was mishandled. Will Wethereington and Josh McCarter followed with RBI singles to give Post 39 the lead and although Grant singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh for Kinston Post 43, the team couldn’t do much from there.
“Our team has a lot of fight,” Kinston Post 43 coach Ty Eason said. “We made some silly mistakes in this game, and you can’t do that against Pitt — they’re a very good team. We just have to shake it off and get prepared for Louisburg. They’re the only other team to have beaten us and we feel we owe them something. There’s no bad blood, we just didn’t give them our best game (in an 18-12 loss on June 5).”
Kinston Post 43 may have to finish the season without Camden Noble, who suffered an elbow injury in Tuesday’s game.
“My biggest regret in this game is seeing Cam go down,” Eason said. “He’s an integral part of our team and pitching staff. Only time will tell, but we wish him the best.”
Kinston Post 43 takes on Louisburg Post 105 at Bunn High School Wednesday at 7 p.m.