Kinston Post 43 closes regular-season with shutout win over Farmville Post 151
FARMVILLE — Kinston Post 43 didn’t post its usual offensive output Monday, but Trevor Sears more than made up for it on the mound.
Sears carried a perfect game into the sixth inning as Kinston Post 43 defeated Farmville Post 151 3-0 in the regular season finale. Kinston Post 43 finished the regular season 14-2 and received a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The first meeting with Farmville Post 151 provided an offensive explosion in Kinston June 22 — won by the home team 11-10 — but a pitcher’s duel broke out in the rematch. Sears, who was shelled for six earned runs in three innings, said he wanted another shot at Farmville.
“They scored six runs on me and I said ‘I was not letting that happen again,’” Sears said. “I came out here with a Megalodon mentality...and I did my job.”
As Sears kept Post 151 hitters at bay, Cody Thompson did the same against Post 43 with four shutout innings. Farmville Post 151 made a pitching change in the fifth and Kinston Post 43 took advantage with a Jalin Connor hit a 2-run single to break the scoreless tie. One inning later, Jon Howard added insurance with a solo shot to left field for a 3-0 advantage.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Tristin Griffin broke up Sears’ perfect game with a single, but the next three Farmville Post 151 batters were retired. In the bottom of the seventh, Brendon Grant — who was pitching in relief — got two of the first three batters he faced via strikeout, but Jordan Atkinson’s single put runners on the corners and the tying run at the plate.
Grant recovered, ending the game with another strikeout to cap an impressive regular season. Kinston Post 43 scored double-digit runs in 11 of its 16 games while holding 11 opponents to three runs or fewer.
“It’s been special with these guys, especially with it being the last recruiting class of Ronnie Battle,” Kinston Post 43 manager Ty Eason said. “It says a lot about these guys to come in and kind of finish with the mindset he had. There’s a lot of talent buried here and it’s blessing to have guys who work hard every day. It feels like regardless of who’s out there, someone will get the job done.
“This is as much of a team as any level I’ve coached. Everyone wants to be in the spotlight, but if they’re not, they’re genuinely happy for whoever’s there. That’s the one thing we look at when it comes to recruiting — we want to have talented guys, but guys who are about the team.”