Lake Norman Post 509 continued their winning ways Friday, beating Denver Post 455 10-5 at Jonathan Brookinsâ€™ Memorial Field.
Post 509 used a six-run seventh inning to break open a 4-3 ballgame, along with five relatively strong innings from Tyler Boyles to record the win.
Dustin Weaverâ€™s arm seemed to tire in the seventh inning. After back-to-back walks to Danny Oâ€™Brien and Korey Kiesler, Brett Beal loaded the bases, forcing Post 455â€™s Bruce Bolick to pull Weaver from the game.
Bolick inserted Colby Burgin into the contest in a most difficult situation. Burgin entered facing Lake Normanâ€™s Johnny Spake with no outs.
The result? Spake ripped a double to left that bounced over the fence, scoring pinch-runner Jason Bolick and Kiesler.
Brett Bernhardt then singled up the middle, scoring Beal and Spake, making the score 8-3.
Kyle Lawerence, reaching on an error, scored Bernhardt, and a wild-pitch led to another Lake Norman run.
In a bit of irony, despite giving up three earned runs in the inning, Burgin struck out the side.
Post 455 had pulled to within one run in the third inning. Burgin connected to the leftfield gap to score Alex Loftin who had reached via a walk.
Then Will Fox crushed a curve ball to over the right-field fence for a two-run homer.
Denver attempted to rally in the seventh. A Burgin fielderâ€™s choice scored Brandan Jones, who had walked. Then Kyle Baker scored Loftin stroking one to left-center.
The next batter Matt Kuster nailed one to deep left-field, barely missing a homerun, which was caught at the fence. On the play, Baker advanced to third.
Baker was stranded as the next batter Brandon Scott flew out. The scenario was a familiar one for Denver as they left 12 men on the base.
The night belonged to John Hass, going 4-for-4 with a solo homerun in the sixth inning.
â€œI was seeing the ball good tonight. Iâ€™ve struggled the last two nights. In the past Iâ€™ve been on some young teams, but this year we have experience, so hopefully we can go pretty far,â€ Hass said after driving in three runs.
Spake for Post 509 also stood out in the victory going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
â€œI felt like I hit it real good. I did the small things at the plate and got my pitch,â€ he said.
The win marks the third straight for Lake Norman and moves their record to 9-4 overall.
â€œThe team chemistry is real good. Everybody is getting along. We just have to keep on rolling,â€ Spake said.
Post 509 head coach Israel Morrow was very pleased with his teamâ€™s performance.
â€œAs far as hitting, weâ€™ll be fine. We can beat a lot of teams. Pitching, weâ€™re not as deep, but with what we got we make due. Our guys go out there and give it their all,â€ he said when asked about his teamâ€™s season to this point.
â€œTheyâ€™re a real joy to coach,â€ he added.
Bernhardt went 2-for-5, with two runs and two RBIs for Lake Norman. Beal also was 2-for-5. Lawerence was 2-for-4 with a RBI.
Leading hitters for Post 455 were: Burgin who went 3-for-5, one run and two RBIs, Fox was 1-for-2 with a run and two RBIs and Loftin who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Brent Gates, making his debut after coming over from Post 100, went 2-for-4 on the night. His night could have been even better as on his final at-bat he narrowly missed a double down the third baseline on what appeared to be a â€˜fairâ€™ ball.
Dustin Weaver suffered the loss for Post 455 pitching six complete innings, while striking out two batters and walking two. He gave up six earned runs with half coming in the sixth inning.
Denver falls to 1-8 on the season. Their game scheduled for Sunday was postponed due to Independence High School vying for a state title and graduation conflicts.by John Mark Brooks