MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — The Hamlet American Legion Post 49 baseball team dropped both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against Morehead City Post 46.
Post 49 lost 10-1 in the opener, before falling to Post 46 10-0 in the second game in five innings. Both contests were Area 2 conference games.
Hamlet recorded two hits in the first game, a single by Ra’Nik Little and a double from Reid Edwards. As a team, Post 49 struck out 10 times.
Post 49’s lone run was scored by Trace Ricketts, who led off the fourth with a walk. He stole second, took third on a passed ball and also scored on a passed ball.
Harley Honeycutt threw four innings in game one, followed by three innings from Dexter Jones. Morehead City scored a run in the first, four runs in the third and five runs in the fourth.
Hamlet’s pitching surrendered seven walks, five hits and hit two batters, while the defense committed two errors. Jones threw a scoreless three innings to end the game.
“Harley pitched okay and competed, which is all we can ask for,” head coach Chip Gordon said. “Dexter did well for us in the last couple of innings. But our pitching needs to fill the strike zone up and we can’t walk batters. We have to make other teams earn their way on base.
“We also didn’t hit the ball well,” he added. “We aren’t putting the ball in play and we have too many strikeouts at the plate. I told the guys we need to make the other team’s defense work, and unless we do that, we aren’t going to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Gordon noted the team had a runner on third base in both the first and second innings with one out, but couldn’t get the runs in.
Game two followed a similar storyline for Post 49, which saw Hamlet struggle to throw strikes and produce at the plate.
Little threw two-thirds of an inning to start the game, before Jake Clemmons pitched 2.2 innings of relief. Closing out the final two-thirds in the fourth inning was David O’Neal.
Morehead City scored five runs in the first inning, which saw Hamlet’s pitching walk seven batters and allow two hits. As a staff, Post 49 walked nine hitters in game two, gave up six hits and hit two batters with a pitch.
Post 46 added to its lead with four runs in the third and another in the fourth.
Hamlet registered just one hit in the game, a single by Josh Griggs. Post 49 struck out eight times.
“It was the same story as the first game,” Gordon explained. “We put 11 runners on base on walks or hit by pitches. The key is we’ve got to limit the free passes and start to get hits with runners in scoring position. Until we make the necessary changes, we’re going to keep playing the same type of baseball.
“But I saw a lot of positives, too,” he closed. “Several players are starting to apply what we’re teaching and I thought we had some good at-bats. As more guys start to figure it out, the wins will come.”
Hamlet (0-6, 0-4 Area 2) will return to action with three games this week, starting with a home game Tuesday against Port City Post 545.
Post 49 will travel to Wilmington Post 10 on Wednesday, followed by another home game Friday against Hampstead Post 167. All games will start at 7 p.m.