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The Southwest Trojans improved to 8-2 in Junior American Legion baseball by beating Whiteville 11-1 in six innings Monday night. Last week, the Trojans lost 6-5 to New Hanover and routed Hampstead 17-5.
Below are summaries of the games.
The Trojans showed some good defense in the early innings of the victory.
In the first, pitcher Gavin Lane picked off a runner at first base. First baseman Logan Tripp made the tag. In the second, center fielder Brock Holmes threw out a runner who was trying to score from second. Catcher Nick Napolitano made the tag.
The Trojans loaded the bases in the second inning against starter Kyle Cashwell but were unable to score. In the third, they again loaded the bases, and this time they scored five runs.
Hunter Allen led off with a single and Justin Cook doubled. Tripp was safe on an error, loading the bases. Jay Gause singled to center, driving in two runs. Napolitano doubled, scoring a run for a 3-0 lead. With one out, Alex Memory grounded out and a run scored. The final run scored during an inning-ending rundown between second and first.
Whiteville scored its first run on a two-out single in the fourth, but for the second straight inning Lane got all of the outs by strikeouts. In the four innings he pitched, he struck out eight, walked two and hit one. He gave up two hits.
The Trojans added to the lead in the fourth, scoring two runs. With one out, Allen walked and Cook singled. With two outs, Gause singled to left field, driving in the two runs for the 7-1 lead.
In the fifth, Lorenzo Pigott came in to pitch for the Trojans. He faced a one-out bases-loaded situation in the sixth, but a popup and a groundout ended the inning.
The Trojans ended the game by scoring four runs in the sixth. Against reliever Alex Watts, Cook was hit by a pitch and Tripp walked. Gause singled in a run for an 8-1 lead. Pinch hitter Jesse Simmons was hit by a pitch. Turner followed with a run-scoring single. A hit by Memory increased the lead to 10-1 and the game-ending run scored on a wild pitch with Damian Burney at bat.
Gause was the Trojans’ top hitter, going 4-for-4 with five RBIs. Turner had a double and a single with one RBI. He also walked. Cook was 2-for-3 with a double and a single. He also walked.
For Whiteville, Cashwell gave up seven runs on three errors and eight hits in five innings.
Whiteville 000 100 — 1
Trojans 005 204 — 11 10
HAMPSTEAD 167 5
The Trojans had 16 hits—including Alex Memory’s first grand slam—and routed Hampstead Post 167 17-5 Friday.
The Trojans had scored four runs in the second inning for a 7-3 lead when Memory came to bat with the bases loaded.
“I wasn’t thinking about it,” Memory, a third baseman, said about hitting a grand slam. “I was thinking about getting a base hit. I got a good pitch—and I hit it.”
Even then, he said, all he thought he had made was solid contact.
“I didn’t think it was gone at first,” he said. “I thought it was a pop fly to the center fielder. But it kept going.”
The ball bounced off the black tarp behind the center field fence.
“No, I didn’t see it,” he said. “I was rounding second. I ran too fast. I should have watched a little bit, but I didn’t. I didn’t think it was a homer, so I ran.”
The Trojans did a lot of running against Hampstead, a school whose varsity reached the state finals in the Class A state baseball playoffs.
The Trojans scored three in the first inning against Hampstead pitcher Tyler Rutledge.
Hunter Allen, Justin Cook and Logan Tripp singled, loading the bases. With two outs. Blain Turner tripled to right center field, driving in the three runs for a 3-0 lead.
Post 167 scored twice in the second to cut the lead to 3-2. A walk, a single, an error and a single led to the two runs. The rally was shortened when left fielder Cook threw out a runner at third.
In the bottom of the second, the Trojans scored 12 runs. The first came run on a single by Damian Burney and, after he stole second, a single by Tim Powell.
Allen then reached first on an error, and a double by Cook drove in two runs and put the Trojans ahead 6-3. A ground-rule double by Tripp drove in another run.
Jay Gause followed with a single to left field and Nick Napolitano walked. Memory then followed with the grand slam.
Against reliever Matt Collins the inning continued with Tim Powell reaching on an error, Allen singling and Cook doubling in two runs for a 14-2 lead.
Tripp followed with a single to right field, and Gause singled in a run for a 15-2 lead.
Hampstead scored a run in the third, but the inning ended when shortstop Allen ran to his left to snare a sinking liner.
Burney led off the bottom of third with a single, and he scored after three batters were hit by a pitch. A single by Gause drove in a run and put the Trojans ahead 17-3.
Against reliever Marquise Johnson, Post 167 scored twice in the fourth on wild pitch and a groundout.
With Jesse Simmons pitching, the Trojans showed good defense in the fifth. Shortstop Bruce Clewis fielded a grounder for the first out. And center fielder Burney got the second out when he threw out a runner who tried to stretch a single to a double.
Randy Daniels was the winning pitcher, throwing three innings and giving up two runs. He allowed five hits, walked one and struck out two.
Post 167 021 20 — 5 5 3
Trojans 3(12)2 0x— 17 16 2
NEW HANOVER 6
The Trojans fell behind 6-0 and rallied for five runs before losing 6-5 June 11.
New Hanover scored the first run of the game in the top of the third on a leadoff triple and a sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats added run in the top of the fourth. With one out, Sam Foy was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Hunter Sutton singled. Richard Porter then singled in the run.
Alex Memory came in to pitch, and he walked the first three batters he faced, forcing in two runs that gave New Hanover a 4-0 lead. A single by Austin Godwin drove in another run.
The lead went to 6-0 in the top of the sixth on a bases-loaded walk against reliever Brock Holmes, but the inning could have been worse for the Trojans were it not for back-to-back forceouts at home.
The Trojans scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth when Holmes led off with a triple to right field and scored on a wild pitch.
After Hunter Allen walked, Sutton came in to pitch. Justin Cook singled and Nick Napolitano drove in a run when he grounded out to first. A single by Jay Gause drove in two runs and cut the lead to 6-4.
In the bottom of the sixth the Trojans cut the lead to 6-5 against reliever Steve Vaughan. Damian Burney walked, stole second and went to third on Jesse Simmons’ groundout. Tim Powell then singled home Burney for the Trojans’ final run.
Allen finished at the Trojans’ top hitter, going 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.
New Hanover 001 410 0 — 6
Trojans 000 041 0 — 5
MICHAEL PAUL is the sports editor at the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.