With Wilson Post 13's 6-3 win Friday at Kinston Post 43 in game 5 of the American Legion baseball Area One Eastern Division semifinals, a classic matchup has been set for the best-of 5 Eastern finals series.
Rocky Mount Post 58 (although technically, it's Nash County Coleman-Pitt Post 58 but we like 'Rocky Mount' better), the North Conference champion, will meet Wilson, beginning Sunday night at Northern Nash High School.Neither post has had a particularly successful history.
Wilson's last trip to the Area One Eastern Division finals was in 2004. Its last Eastern crown was in 1990. Wilson's only Area One title came in 1980 but Post 13 did win N.C. American Legion East championships in 1941 and '42 (prior to the start of Area One).
Wilson lost to Shelby Post 82 in the '42 state championship series, three games to two.
Rocky Mount won its only American Legion state championship in 1973 and played in the East championship in 1959 and 1962. Rocky Mount's last trip to the Area One Eastern finals was 1995.
Post 58's last Area One title was in 1986 when it successfully defended its crown.
This year, Wilson is 14-10 and has won 9 of its last 11 games but was handed consecutive defeats, 12-2 and 14-3, by Post 58. Those were Post 13's only North Conference losses.
Rocky Mount, which has won eight straight, is 14-2 with its only defeats coming at the hands of New Bern and Edenton, which it swept in the Eastern Division semifinals this past week.
Post 58 was averaging 16 runs per game at home until its last win, a 6-4 series-clinching victory over Edenton on Wednesday.
Editor's Note: Sunday's game may be a washout. Thunderstorms are predicted for the area Sunday and Monday. And since Northern Nash's field is not known for holding up well in any type of rain storm, Nash County may suffer just its second rainout of the season. Keep your eye on the weather radars!
Editor's Note No. 2: Did you know that one of the rarist plays in baseball occured in Post 13's series ender with Kinston Friday night? Yes, Post 13 pulled off a triple play - one play that I have never seen in 35 years of watching high school baseball.
Here's the setup.
In the bottom of the ninth with no outs and Kinston runners on first and second, the next Kinston batter hit into a simple 4-6-3 (second baseman Michael McLawhorn to shortstop Chris Johnson to first baseman Tripp Sauls) play.
But the runner who was at second rounded third and headed home. First baseman Tripp Sauls then threw home to catcher Chris Lamm who tagged the runner out - a 4-6-3-2 triple play!