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It wasn’t without its anxious moments on the mound and defensively, but the Wilson Post 13 American Legion baseball team finally has its first victory of 2019.
Post 13 starter Trevor Mills battled control issues to wrangle out of consecutive bases-loaded jams in the second and third innings, and Wilson’s bats produced runs in each of its final four trips to the plate Monday night for a 10-3 Area I East victory over Ahoskie Post 102 in Fleming Stadium.
Wilson, which continues a three-game stretch in three days with road games at Kinston Post 43 on Tuesday and at Ahoskie on Wednesday, prevailed for the first time in five games. It was also the first coaching victory for Post 13 head coach Noah Edens in 332 calendar days, dating back to his team’s 12-10 victory over Wayne County Post 11 in the Area I East semfinals last season.
In between, Edens, largely counting his prep obligations at Beddingfield High earlier in the spring, had lost 22 straight contests.
But that string was put to rest Monday behind the inconsistent, yet timely start of Mills. He required just four innings to toss 96 pitches, and reached three-ball counts on 10 of the 18 batters he faced. However, with the bases loaded in the second inning, he got Ahoskie’s No. 9 hitter to strike out and in the third, left the bases loaded with a ground ball to shortstop Dom Gaetano.
Mills picked up the win despite his absence of control, striking out eight and walking five. Five of the eight strikeouts came against the bottom third of the Ahoskie order.
Tyler Wells entered the the fifth with a 3-0 lead and went on to record the save. He ran into trouble in the sixth as Ahoskie batted around and brought the tying run to the plate in the form of John McCole, the losing pitcher. But McCole grounded out to third baseman Austin Slate to end the threat as Ahoskie left the bases loaded for the third and final time.
Wells, in three innings, allowed his three runs in the sixth, but they were unearned thanks to a pair of Wilson errors.
The Post 13 offense picked up the pace in the third inning against McCord with first baseman Tanner Sullivan’s two-run single. Trey Dail, who walked to lead off the Post 13 fourth, went first to third on Mason Lee’s single and touched home on Gaetano’s RBI groundout.
Wilson parlayed a Jackson Terry hit by pitch and a Jamar Ellis walk into two of its three runs in the fifth. Austin Slate’s two-run double made it 5-0 Post 13, and Dail’s groundout boosted the hosts to a 6-0 advantage.
Catcher Will Stewart, who was 1 for 3 with a double, used his two bagger to plate Gaetano in the sixth. As part of Wilson’s four-run sixth, Jamar Ellis tapped an RBI infield single, Sullivan lofted a sacrifice fly to left and Slate plated designated hitter Jackson Terry with a groundout.
Sullivan was 2 for 2 with three RBIs for Wilson.
McCole, in absorbing the loss for Ahoskie, struck out three and walked six in four-plus innings of work. He allowed just two hits, but all five of his runs were earned. Post 13 doubled up Ahoskie in hits by a 6-3 margin.
Score by innings:
Ahoskie 000 003 0 — 3
Wilson 002 134 x — 10
WP-Trevor Mills (1-0) 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 8 SO. LP-John McCole 4 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 3 SO. S-Tyler Wells (1) 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
LEADING HITTERS — Wilson: Tanner Sullivan 2-2, 3 RBI, Austin Slate 1-4, 2B, 3 RBI, Will Stewart 1-3, RBI; Ahoskie: Tyrek Beverly 1-3, Dallas Trevena 1-3, Kevin Noon 1-3.