For the second straight day Wilmington Post 10 opened the game with an 8-run first inning, then held off Fuquay-Varina Post 116 for an 11-5 win in Tuesday’s American Legion Baseball state championship game at Fraley Field in Cherryville.
After Fuquay scored a run in he top of the first to take an early lead, Wilmington’s Jac Croom tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff home run. Max Hildreth followed with a walk, then scored on Matt Suggs RBI triple that gave Post 10 the lead for good.
RBI hits by Shane Nolan and Zack Zabrriske and an error that resulted in two runs helped Wilmington take an 8-1 lead into the second inning.
Hildreth doubled home two more runs in the bottom of the third inning to make it a 10-1 game, and a sacrifice fly RBI from Alex Sniffen made it 11-1.
A two-ru double by Garrett McGraw in the fifth inning helped Fuquay-Varina cut into the lead, but Post 116 could never make a serious threat to the Wilmington lead.
Croom, Hildreth, Nolan and Chase Nixon, who is the son of former major leaguer Trot Nixon, all had two hits for Wilmington. Landon Ginn had 3 hits to lead Fuquay, while Matt Long added a pair.
Starting pitcher Hunter Hodges got the win on the mound for Post 10, giving up 4 runs on six hits in 4.2 innings. Hodges struck out 8 Fuquay batters and walked two. Austin John took the loss for Fuquay-Varina.
Wilmington now advances to next week’s Mid-Atlantic Regional in Asheboro. Post 10 will take on the Maryland state champion on Wednesday, August 7 at 4:30 p.m. at McCrary Park.
Fuquay-Varina 100 120 1 – 5 9 2
Wilmington 803 000 x – 11 10 2