The offense was not. 

Rogers Post couldn’t solve Augusta pitcher Thomas Foster in a 1-0 loss to the visiting Elks in an American Legion Zone 2 contest. Rogers Post strung together five hits, but stranded eight base runners. 

Foster struggled with his command early, needing 31 pitches to retire the side. Mike Hammond walked during an eight-pitch at-bat and Jarod Plourde followed with a double to left-center on a 3-1 count to put runners on second and third with one out. Foster struck out Elijah Roe and Drew Lashua to end the threat. 

“I just think he was getting loose,” Augusta coach Tim Rodrigue said. “He hasn’t pitched in about six weeks. He didn’t pitch much in high school. He got an opportunity tonight and he made the best of it.” 

Foster settled down from there, not exceeding more than 18 pitches in any of his final six innings of work to retire the order. He needed just seven pitches in the fourth as part of a 1-2-3 inning. 

“He hit his spots, mixed it up, stayed on the outside corner,” Rogers Post coach Dave Jordan said. “I thought he did a great job of keeping us off-balance today.”

The game’s lone run came courtesy of Augusta’s Ray Mosca with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. Mosca singled to center field with one out and stole second to move into scoring position. With the hit-and-run on, Taylor Lockhart singled to deep short and Mosca beat Austin Cox’s throw to the plate to give the Elks (4-1) a 1-0 lead. 

Lockhart’s base hit was Augusta’s last of the game as Plourde retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced. 

“The curveball, got them hanging a couple times,” Plourde said. “Fastball got by them a couple times. That’s what was working. Change-up hit a couple kids. That was not good.” 

Plourde was efficient on the mound, throwing just 80 pitches in the complete game. He threw 10 or fewer pitches in four of the seven frames, needing just six in both the second and sixth. He didn’t toss more than 18 pitches in a single inning. The defense behind Plourde played an error-free game. 

“That’s a very good hitting team and I thought behind him we made a lot of nice plays,” Jordan said. “Justin Keaney was great over at third, made a lot of solid plays at third. I thought we tracked a couple balls down in the outfield that could have been dangerous. Overall, it was a very well-played game both ways.” 

Plourde took the tough-luck loss on the mound, scattering four hits while striking out six and walking one. 

Rogers Post (3-1) didn’t get many clean swings on Foster, but Lashua came roughly 15 feet from tying the game in the sixth. Lashua drove the first pitch he saw to deep center field that one-hopped the fence for a stand-up double. He was stranded there as Brandon Varney flew out to right to end the inning. 

A seventh-inning rally fell just short as Rogers Post put runners on first and second with two outs after back-to-back singles by Tyler Blanchard and Cox. The threat prompted Rodrigue to pull Foster in favor of Kolbe Merfeld, much to the starter’s chagrin.

“He wasn’t happy with me, but I told him that’s why I get paid the big bucks,” Rodrigue said.

Merfeld got Hammond to ground into a fielder’s choice at second base to hand Rogers Post its first loss of the season.  

“I think we finally made a few adjustments late in the game and maybe he wasn’t hitting his spots quite like he had, but the boys showed a lot of fight in the end, getting a couple guys on,” Jordan said. “I’d like to have seen one more get through because the guy at second is probably our fastest guy. I would like to have seen him to round third but they made the play to finish it.” 

Foster tossed 107 pitches over 6 2/3, striking out six and walking two. Merfeld’s 1/3 inning of work featured just two pitches. 

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.