A somewhat unusual baseball season has come to a close for Whiteville Post 137. First, Post 137’s home games were played at West Columbus High School. Second, Post 137 drew players from as far away as West and North Brunswick and Lumberton as well as Columbus County. Third, Whiteville was in contention for the regular season title until it was a discovered a player did not meet the age requirement. Whiteville self-reported the violation, with the penalty forfeiture of regular season wins to that point. Post 137 did battle back, sweeping Wallace in round one and giving Wilmington Post 10 two tough contests in the the Area II semi finals.
Game 2. Wilmington 6 Whiteville 3
Post 10 first inning errors allowed Whiteville Post 137 to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. However, Wilmington tightened up the defense and Whiteville was unable to score again. Post 10 cut the lead to 3-1 after two innings and tied the game at three after the third frame. Post 10 took the lead for good with two runs in the fifth. A single run in the sixth completed the scoring, sending Wilmington Post 10 into the Area II finals and securing a berth in the State tournament held later this month in Greenville.
Post 10 will face Hope Mills Boosters in the Area II best of three series that is used to determine state tournament seeding. Hope Mills swept Jacksonville two games to none by a whopping margin of 41-0.
Members of the 2017 Whiteville Post 137 squad are Brooks Baldwin, AJ Brooks, Gage Hammonds, Cameron Cartrette, Dawson Elliott, Hunter Ashbury, Tyler McDuffie, Will Hinson, Daniel Carter, Travin Squires, Chase Lewis, Bray McKeithan, Trey Parrish Cyrus Jacobs and Gerritt Newell. Post 137’s head coach is Jeff Lamb, assisted by Justin Taylor and Cole Strickland.
Game 1. Wilmington 5 Whiteville 4. 13 innings
It was a game of missed scoring opportunities for both teams with a combined 24 runners left stranded. In the bottom of the 13th inning Wilmington Post 10 finally capitalized and a walk off single resulted in a 5-4 win for the Wilmington team.
Wilmington held a 4-2 lead after seven innings, but a two-run homer by Whiteville catcher Hunter Ashburn tied the score at four. Each team squandered scoring chances over the next four innings until the game-winner.
Chase Lewis pitched the first seven innings for Whiteville. Daniel Carter pitched the eighth and ninth, with Travin Squires pitched the remaining frames. Brooks Baldwin was three for five with two walks to lead Post 137 hitters. Gage Hammonds and Dawson Elliott contributed two hits each.
The two teams meet again at West Columbus tonight at 7 p.m. in game two of the best of three series. The winner will qualify for the American Legion state tournament in Greenville later this month. In the other Area II semifinal, game one, Hope Mills drubbed Jacksonville 19-0.