Post 15’s grip on Area 1 comes down to final week

Published 2:12 pm Monday, June 29, 2015

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS TOUGH BREAK: Washington’s pitching struggled to contain the Cary Bulls’ bats on Saturday at Fleming Stadium in Wilson.

TOUGH BREAK: Washington’s pitching struggled to contain the Cary Bulls’ bats on Saturday at Fleming Stadium in Wilson.

WILSON — With three games left on the schedule and a top playoff seed on the line, Beaufort County Post 15 now controls its own destiny.

What was once a significant lead in the Area 1 standings is now a slim two-game advantage in the loss column over the second place Cary Bulls (10-3), who have already completed their regular season campaign and are awaiting the postseason tournament, set for July 9-12 at Manteo High School.

And if Saturday’s nonconference exhibition told us anything about the Pirates, it’s that nothing is set in stone for a team that’s already exceeded preseason expectations. Battling the elements, broken routine and an odd warm-up schedule, Beaufort County fell to Cary at Fleming Stadium, 8-2, in what manager Kevin Cutler called the “worst performance of the year.” Despite the slipup, the second game originally scheduled to succeed the first was rained out after one inning of play, forcing Wilson, who had no room in its schedule for a makeup, to forfeit.

Following a drawn-out rain delay, Beaufort County took to the rain-soaked field and had trouble finding its rhythm at the plate.

“They had a left-handed pitcher who kept us off balance the whole game, threw a lot of off-speed and got us out on our front foot,” said head coach Glenn Marsh. “We didn’t make good adjustments in the middle to late innings. He kept us in check. We couldn’t string together two to three hits in innings.”

On the mound, the elements seemed to adversely affect Logan Little, who has been one of the Pirates’ strongest assets this season. Little tossed four innings and allowed five hits, an uncharacteristic amount of walks and picked up the loss. Nick Everette and Tanner Alligood attempted to provide late-inning relief, but were also hit hard.

“We warmed up early and I thought we were rushed to get the game moving pretty fast with another big storm coming,” Marsh said. “The whole getting out of the routine that we’ve been in all year was different, along with playing in a big stadium. We seemed out of sorts so to speak, everybody did.”

Post 67 jumped out to quick lead in the first inning on four singles and a walk. While the Post 15 defense remained poised, the Cary bats continuously found the gaps in the outfield and holes in the infield, tacking on another run in the third inning on a walk, a single and a sacrifice.

In the bottom of the third, Beaufort County capitalized on poor defensive play, as Austin Roscoe, who singled, came around to score on two outfield errors. A leadoff double in the fourth inning from Tripp Barfield narrowed the Post 67 lead to 4-2.

However, the Cary offensive went on to put the game out of reach in the fifth, notching three runs on two walks, a hit batter, a single and a fielder’s choice.

“After the game, I told them to flush that game and never talk about it again,” Marsh said. “Every time we have lost this year we’ve responded with a very a good game.”

At the plate, Little finished the day 1-for-2 with an RBI, while Roscoe, Barfield, Drew Ferguson and Everette combined for the rest of Beaufort County’s five hits.

With the loss and the forfeit, the Pirates move to 12-5 (8-2 Area 1) and will host Perquimans at Washington High School’s Futrell Field on Wednesday. Coverage of Monday’s game against Wilson at Northside High School will be available in Wednesday’s paper.