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The rust of a nine-day layoff glared but obtaining the desired result did not prove a taxing endeavor for the Wilson American Legion baseball team in Fleming Stadium on Wednesday night.
Right-handed pitchers Trevor Mills and Josh Fuller combined for a two-hit shutout and Post 13 feasted on eight Farmville Post 151 errors in registering a 10-0 Area I Eastern Division triumph.
Playing for the first time since June 4, Post 13 climbd to 2-2 in the division and 3-2 overall. Post 151 departed 1-4 in the division and 1-6 in all games. Wilson continues division play at 7 p.m. Friday in Fleming Stadium against Ahoskie Post 102.
“It looked like we hadn’t played in over a week,” assessed first-year Wilson head coach Noah Edens. “But both pitchers threw the ball really well and, defensively, we played OK. Offensively, we are not where we need to be. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we will get a little stretch going.”
Mills started and limited Farmville to two hits in four innings in notching his first win without a loss. He did not issue a walk and struck out six. Fuller mopped up, posting a walk, a hit batsman and four strikeouts in two innings. Fuller struck out the side in the fifth.
“I just wanted to give a couple guys some work and get the rust off,” Edens explained.
Edens planned to pitch right-hander Parker Garris in the seventh, but Post 13 ended the contest via the mercy rule with four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Mills compared his outing to a bullpen session in readying for Monday’s assignment against Wayne County Post 11 at Goldsboro High.
“I felt really good,” he expressed. “My first pitch was a strike and, from there, I was in the zone. I just located my fastball and didn’t have to throw many breaking pitches. I was a little rusty, but it was good enough.
“Relief came in and did really good in throwing a lot of strikes. And we got the win.”
Post 13 nicked Farmville starter and loser Chandler Fornes, a right-hander, for the only two (unearned) runs it would need in the third. Fuller launched the spree with a single and Post 151 committed two errors. Designated hitter Tyler Sherrod’s infield hit plated a run and catcher Silas Gonzalez collected an RBI with a bases-loaded walk.
Shortstop Dom Gaetano was hit by a pitch and sped home on Fuller’s single in the fourth. In the fifth, first baseman Jackson Terry legged out a triple when the left fielder failed on an attempt at a shoestring catch and scored on third baseman Garris’ sacrifice fly. Left fielder Cedric Kirby beat out a bunt, stole second base and came around on Gaetano’s single.
Post 151 committed four more errors in the sixth and Post 13 walked off when Gaetano’s fly ball to fairly deep right field was dropped and Terry scored.
“We got nine hits,” Mills pointed out, “but a lot of them were bloop hits and they made eight errors. The bats have got to come alive.”
Farmville got a single each from third baseman Trent Langley and shortstop Ty Horner.
“All three pitchers did their jobs,” contended Farmville head coach Josh Boberg. “Chandler was sensational, but he got gassed (after three innings) and couldn’t go any more.
“The defense just didn’t show up. You can’t make eight errors. Teams in this league, like Wilson, are going to capitalize on that. Yeah, it’s a bummer.”