Grand finale: Post 56 Juniors use long ball to sweep Rutherford County

McDowell Post 56 Junior Legion player Ethan Davis is greeted by his teammates at home plate after hitting a grand slam during Monday's 13-9 win in the nightcap of the regular-season finale. Post 56 finished 17-2 and will open postseason play this weekend. Josh Davis/

The 2019 American Junior Legion regular season came to an end on Monday and the McDowell Post 56 ‘A’ team finished it off with a bang offensively in a doubleheader sweep of Rutherford County Post 423.

McDowell 11, Rutherford County 1

In game one, the 56ers cruised to an 11-1 win, kicking in the 10-run rule in the bottom half of the fifth. McDowell jumped out to a 6-0 lead two innings in and took any doubt about the outcome of the game away pretty quickly.

Ethan Hamm ripped an RBI single to center and Benjamin Barnes doubled in two more to highlight McDowell’s first.

Rutherford County scratched across their lone run in the top half of the third inning off Post 56 starter Ethan Davis (4 IP, 1R, 1H, 4K, 2BB), but otherwise, the McDowell pitcher was very efficient as he did his work on just 50 pitches.

The game eventually ended on the first pitch thrown in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Justin Dula popped a solo homer to center, kicking in the mercy rule.

Hamm (2-3, RBI, 2R), along with Three Young (2-3, double, 2RBIs, BB, 3SB) had two hits each to lead McDowell.

Dula (1-2, HR, RBI, BB), Chapel Matson (1-3, 2R, BB, 2SB), Justin Davis (1-3, SB), Barnes (1-2, double, 2RBIs, SB) and Dusty Revis (1-2, triple, RBI, BB) added one hit apiece in the victory.

Hunter Byerly pitched an inning of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out one.

McDowell 13, Rutherford County 9

Post 56 continued its offensive onslaught in Monday’s nightcap, outlasting Rutherford County Post 423 by a score of 13-9.

Rutherford County was ahead 8-6 at the midway point when McDowell broke through with a five run bottom half of the fourth.

Chapel Matson and Three Young both singled to begin the frame. Justin Dula walked, and then, with one out, Ethan Davis – on a two-strike count – put Post 56 in front 10-8 with an opposite-field grand slam to right.

McDowell erupted for 14 more hits in the regular-season finale, with three players producing multi-hit efforts. Six of McDowell’s hits went for extra bases.

Ethan Hamm went 4-for-4 including a pair of doubles, two runs scored, a stolen base and three runs driven in. Matson went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk in the leadoff spot and scored twice, and Justin Davis (2-4, SB) had two hits and two runs scored.

Three Young (1-4, 2R, SB), Michael Lewis (1-2, double, RBI), Ethan Hensley (1-3, double, BB) and Dusty Revis (1-4, RBI, SB) added one hit apiece in the nightcap. Ethan Davis finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored, a homer and four RBIs.

Dula picked up the win in relief. He allowed four runs – none of them earned – on five hits in four innings of work, striking out three and walking one.

McDowell’s Junior Legion A-team finishes the season with a 17-2 mark overall and will participate in the Area IV playoffs that will begin this weekend against an opponent yet to be determined.





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