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Post 45's Clay Hill makes the catch for an out against Berkely, West Virginia, at McCary Park on Friday.    Eric Abernethy/Randolph Hub     

Getting ready for stretch run

ASHEBORO — Playing teams from out of state is always a little more fun and poses quite a challenge for local American Legion teams. Randolph County Post 45 had an extensive stretch of playing top-notch Legion programs from around the region last week in games against teams from Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.


“It’s something the kids enjoy, seeing new people and you get a lot of people from out of town who enjoy coming here to play,” veteran Post 45 coach Ronnie Pugh said. “The last thing a lot of them said is we hope you invite us back.”


This past weekend included games at McCrary Park and at Newman Park at Catawba College, featuring Rowan County.


“There’s a lot more games and people involved than people see,” Pugh said.


Overall, Post 45 went 2-3 in the stretch, which began very successfully last Wednesday. Jake Riddle had four hits and scored three times as Post 45 erupted for season highs in runs and hits in recording an 11-1 win over Beverly-Lowell, Ohio. Post 45 finished with 13 hits in the win, including two hits each from Caden Lasley, Caleb Stickle and Grat Dalton. Braxton Walker earned the win with seven strikeouts.


On Friday, Drew Harmon hurled a complete-game three-hitter in sparking Randolph County to a 2-1 win over Berkeley County West Virginia. Harmon stuck out eight and Clay Hill and Lasley each had two hits.


On Saturday, Post 45 fell to St. Mary’s #2 (Maryland) 7-2. Dalton and Harmon had two hits each for Randolph County. Later that night, Morgantown, West Virginia earned a 7-5 win over Post 45. Post 45 trailed 7-0 before seeing a furious rally fall short. Stickle had four hits.


On Sunday, Post 45 battled a second team from St. Mary’s in Maryland, falling 9-6.


“We’re not a good team right now,” Pugh said. “We have to keep working, particularly offensively. That is something that's going to come, but we are running out of time. We have to pull out some wins.”


Post 45 (8-10) was scheduled to play Liberty Post 81 Monday before ending the regular season with three more league games with first-place High Point and one with Davidson County.