Post 15 preserves postseason with extra-innings win

Published 4:09 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MANTEO — Beaufort County Post 15 was backed against the wall Wednesday morning in Manteo. The Pirates dropped their first game of the Area 1 tournament, losing to Cary Post 67 to get relegated to the loser’s bracket.

Once again, things didn’t go Post 15’s way. An early 5-0 deficit put the Pirates’ season in jeopardy. However, unlike in their loss to the Bulls on Tuesday, they proved their fighting spirit. They rallied, constantly coming back as Windsor Post 37 tried to create separation.

After falling behind, the Pirates rattled off seven unanswered runs to take a 7-5 lead late in the game. Windsor wasn’t done, though, as it scored four runs to take a 9-7 lead entering the bottom of the sixth.

The Pirates scored a run in the sixth inning to pull within one before scoring again in the seventh stanza to force extra innings. It showed the never-say-die attitude that made Post 15 successful throughout the season, but was absent in Tuesday’s game.

“I think it’s been (like that) the whole year. They never give up,” coach Glenn Marsh said. “Believe in yourself, have fun and play with confidence. That’s what they did. They fought and everyone pulled for each other. They dug in deep, looked at each other and said, ‘let’s go.’”

Cody Godley halted Windsor’s offense in the top of the seventh, leaving the door open for Beaufort County to do something special.

In a team sport, it’s rare to see one player single-handedly change the tide of the game. Matt Black drew a walk to put the tying run on. He used his speed to promptly steal second base and then third, setting him up to tie the game on a fielding error.

“He’s a competitor,” Marsh said. “He likes to win. He doesn’t shy away from the moment. That moment was his. When he got on first base, in his mind, he knew he was going to score no matter what. No matter what, he was going to come around and tie the ball game up.”

Grant Talbot came off the bench for Brock Marsh in the bottom of the eighth. He had another one of those game-defining moments that eluded the Pirates on Tuesday when he took a two-strike pitch and drilled it for a double.

Post 15 ended up loading the bases with one out. Roscoe belted a sacrifice fly to right field that was enough to push across Talbot for the winning run.

Tyler Harrell, Roscoe and Zach Woolard each split up the first couple of frames. The pitching-by-committee approach was something Beaufort County leaned toward in the first game of the tournament in an effort to preserve arms.

The Pirates continue their postseason trek Thursday at 1 p.m.