First Posted: 1/15/2009
PEMBROKE - The Pembroke American Legion Post 205 baseball team managed to avoid the onslaught of rain that pounded much of Robeson County on Wednesday.
It couldn't, however, avoid the thundering Whiteville bats.
The Whiteville Post 137 team exploded for 18 hits, including 11 extra-base knocks, as it cruised to a 13-3 win. The game was stopped after eight innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“Our pitching hasn't come around and our offense hasn't been doing as well as it should,” Pembroke coach William Deese said. “Defensively we're OK, but when you don't hit the ball and you can't keep runners off base, it's hard to win.
“But with the way they were swinging the bats tonight, I don't know if anybody we threw could've kept them down.”
Charlie Gore hit for the cycle to lead Whiteville's dominating offensive attack. He went 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles. He drove in three runs and had a stolen base.
“He's been swinging the bat really well lately and he's capable, when he gets on a roll, of swinging the bat like that,” Whiteville coach Brett Harwood said. “He's a good player with a lot of tools.”
Gore wasn't the only big bat in the Whiteville lineup. Robbie Penny, the team's No. 2 hitter, also had a good offensive outing, going 3-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI.
Tyler Lewis picked up the loss. The Pembroke starter lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up eight runs.
Matt Walker entered in relief of Lewis and gave up four runs 1 2/3 innings. Garrick Britt pitched the final three innings and gave up just one run.
Whiteville's Johnathan Benson earned the win.
Walker provided one of the few offensive sparks for Pembroke with a solo home run in the third inning. It was the first homer for the Lumberton High pitcher since entering high school. He had just three hits in his few at-bats during the 2007 high school season.
Trevor Maynor, who went 2-for-4 with a double, was the only other Pembroke player to get a hit on Wednesday.
Pembroke (0-6) fell behind early and was never able to recover. Whiteville (2-5) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first three innings and led 8-1 after four.
“The team kind of got down and it was hard to get back into the game,” said Walker, who drove in two runs.
Said Deese: “It's been tough, but the one thing I've been telling the kids is that it's a learning experience.
“Right now we just don't have the experience at this level with the ballplayers that we have, but eventually it's going to come around and we're going to put it all together.”