Against the bottom half of Cary Post 67’s lineup, the Coleman-Pitt pitching staff was about as dominant as coach Hank Jones could have hoped.
It was just the top of the lineup that gave Post 58 problems Thursday night.
Eventually four pitchers took the mound for Post 58, spurred on by an unacceptable amount of walks. The quartet allowed just one hit to the bottom four hitters in the lineup but 10 runs to the top four.
Post 58 didn’t have enough in its own bats to keep up in a 10-8 loss at American Legion Field.
“We’d been told that their first five were pretty tough,” Post 58 coach Hank Jones said. “They were OK, but we put the lead-off man on four times out of five in the first five innings. ... It’s just that simple.”
And against a good team, Jones knew his pitchers couldn’t allow free passes. They gave them away even so, handing out 11 free trips to first base. Of those 11, five scored.
“Baseball is just crazy,” said infielder Forrest Bell, who had a team-high four RBI. “Our pitching staff has been there all year, so I really can’t put it on them just because they didn’t play well for us. It happens.”
Before Thursday, the Coleman-Pitt pitching staff had been its best weapon, at times bailing out suspect defense or a lack of offense.
The staff had allowed more than five runs only once in its previous eight games – a total that was aided by eight errors in a loss to Apex Post 124 last week.
On Thursday, the pitching staff wasn’t missing by much, but when the ball was in the strike zone against the top of the order for Cary (5-6, 3-3 Area I West), Post 58 paid the price.
“They were around the zone,” Jones said. “They just weren’t quite in it.”
Post 58 (5-3-1, 1-3), which has lost three of its past four games after starting the season unbeaten through five games, rallied to take the lead twice but never could hold on to the advantage.
The final lead was lost after the only error of the game for Coleman-Pitt, an errant throw by pitcher Will Edwards that allowed three runs to eventually score in the top of the eighth inning.
“The one comes as a big play in the game,” Jones said. “We didn’t play bad. It was just the friggin’ walks.”
Coleman-Pitt used four pitchers, something that Jones said could affect the team this weekend as it plays three games in two days.
“It’s not taxing right now, but it could be this weekend,” Jones said. “We’ve got a few left that are ready to go, but we have to have some good outings. ... We need two or three guys to step up pretty big Saturday.”
Post 58 plays host to a doubleheader against Roxboro beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and travels to Cary for a 4 p.m. rematch Sunday at Athens Drive High School.
The eight-run total Thursday has been consistent with Post 58’s offensive output thus far this season. Coleman-Pitt is averaging just fewer than 10 runs per game through the first half of the season
“It felt like we definitely got in a rhythm,” Bell said. “We strung a couple of hits together in innings, and we put some runs together. It was good.”
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org