After jumping out to an early lead thanks to a pair of runs batted in by Mason Berne and Trader Flora, Hampstead Post 167 allowed three unearned runs and Hope Mills used timely hitting later in the ballgame to pick up a 7-5 win at Methodist University on Wednesday night.
Hampstead pitching gave up eight walks and hit two batters, while three Hope Mills pitchers combined to strike out nine as Justin Huggins threw seven strong innings to record the victory.
Trey Davis put Hope Mills in front 3-2 with a sacrifice fly in the third after Gaitlin Pate was hit by pitch to lead off the inning, which was followed by a two-base throwing error on a pickoff attempt at first base to set up the RBI opportunity for Davis.
Two runs on three hits in the fourth made it a three-run advantage as Huggins worked out of trouble in the sixth after walking back-to-back hitters with two outs. The right-handed hurler helped his cause in the seventh with a run scoring single to make it 6-2 after a one-out double by Trey Jacobs before Hampstead crept back into the game with two in the seventh.
Sam Luchansky singled up the middle to start the frame and Danny Wilson brought home his classmate with a standup triple to the gap in left-center. Wilson eventually scored on a wild-pitch to cut the deficit in half, but Hope Mills answered with an insurance run in the eighth to secure the result.
Hampstead had one across the board and the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth before a called third strike ended the contest.
Wilson went 3-for-5 to pace Post 167, while Luchansky, Flora, Jake Madole, Josh Madole, Chase Thompson and Aaron Beach accounted for the other six hits in the game.
Hampstead fell to 1-1 on the year and look to bounce back at Whiteville on Monday, June 15.