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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Post 6 Juniors are erased from postseason play in two games
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Rocky Mount Post 6’s Hunter Barbour makes contact with this pitch and drive it for a hit in Post 6’s opening-round loss to Big Island Post 217 in the District 9 American Legion Juniors baseball tournament at W.W. Naff Jr. Field. (Staff Photo by Steven Marsh)

Monday, July 22, 2013

By STEVEN MARSH - Sports Editor

Thus far, the seeds for the District 9 American Legion Juniors baseball tournament have not been a true predictor in terms of advancement and elimination.

Points to ponder.

•Top seed Martinsville Post 42 lost its tournament opener at home Saturday to place it opposition the No. 5 seed Roanoke Post 42 in a Sunday elimination game.

•No. 3 seed Big Island Post 217 and No. 4 seed Lynchburg Post 16 are in the winner's bracket after combining for three triumphs over two days.

•No. 2 seed Rocky Mount Post 6 is done for the season after dropping consecutive games on its home field.

Post 6 (6-6) saw its season end with a 5-3 loss Saturday to Post 3 at W.W. Naff Jr. Field after falling 7-2 to Post 217 Friday in its opening-round contest.

On Friday, Post 217 (8-6) exploded for five runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 2-2 stalemate.

Post 217, which dropped regular-season games to Post 6 by scores of 3-1 and 4-3, sent 10 batters to plate in the decisive frame. It employed successful bunts, steals and a pivotal extra-base hit to take control of the game.

Post 6 did throw two Post 217 baserunners out at home in the seventh to stay one run in arrears, 3-2.

But, with the bases loaded Big Island's Austin Murphy belted an offering from Post 6 starter Braxton Wheeler to the gap in right centerfield for a two-out, three-run triple.

A base hit by Sean Burch and a fielder's choice by Camdym Smith brought Hunter Johnson to the plate for what turned out to be an extended visit because Johnson sent several Wheeler pitches into foul territory with two strikes against him.

Wheeler would finally yield a walk to Johnson on a 3-2 pitch before surrendering the triple to Murphy, the last batter Wheeler would face.

Shortstop Travis Lorent came on in relief for Post 6 and gave up a walk and an RBI single to Tristan Derwitt before coaxing Gavin Porportt, who led off the inning, to ground out to third base for the last out.

In the bottom of the seventh, Post 6 could only manage a one-out single by Nick Robertson. Post 217 reliever Zachary LeMaster closed out the game by fanning Hunter Barbour and Cameron Walker on called third strikes.

In earning the victory, LeMaster worked two innings in relief of starter Adam Phemister. He struck out three -- all on called third-strike pitches.

Post 6 left nine runners on base, five of whom were stranded in scoring position.

Trailing 2-0 after 4 1/2 frames, Post 6 scored twice in its half of the fifth to square the count, but Robertson, representing the go-ahead run, was thrown out at home as he attempted to score on a two-out base hit to centerfield by Walker.

Post 6 would score its two, fifth-inning runs with two outs, courtesy of a Post 217 error which allowed Jacob Davis to reach base, a single by Lorent and consecutive RBI singles by Robertson and Barbour.

In the bottom of the fourth, Post 6 had runners at second and third with one out, but Wheeler and Tanner Talley failed to produce at the plate.

In the last of the sixth, Blake Brown and Jared Layman, batting eighth and ninth in Post 6's order, registered back-to-back, two-out singles.

But, that rally died when Davis grounded out to second to complete the inning.

Post 217 scored its first run in the top of the third on an error by Lorent, singles by Burch and Smith and a two-out RBI single by Austin Murphy.

Post 6, however, was able to prevent a second run from scoring when Barbour tagged Burch out after snagging Brown's relay throw from rightfield just above the plate.

Post 217 pushed the spread to 2-0 when LeMaster, who started the game as Big Island's designated hitter, dashed home from third on a wild pitch by Wheeler.

Wheeler struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings of work. He faced 22 batters in the second, third, fifth and seventh frames.

The tournament's championship game is scheduled for today at 5 p.m. at Naff Field.

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