Chatham Post 292 falls to Hamlet, 11-3, in home opener, Siler City mayor throws first pitch

Post 292 struggled with defensive errors in the loss


SILER CITY — With a packed crowd, favorable weather and the Siler City mayor in attendance, a promising night for Chatham Post 292’s home opener was just missing a win.

Post 292 lost its first American Legion baseball home game of the 2024 season to Hamlet Post 49 on May 29, 11-3.

Before the game got started at Jordan-Matthews High School, Siler City mayor Donald A. Matthews, who began his term in December, threw out the first pitch. Matthews, walking with a sight cane due to low vision caused by severe glaucoma, was just short and left of the batter’s box.

Stratton Barwick, a pitcher at Guilford College out of Eastern Randolph High School, got the start for Post 292 on the mound. Barwick and the Chatham defense started off strong, retiring three straight batters in the top of the first inning.

In Chatham’s first go at the plate, batters wasted no time connecting with the ball, yet flyouts and solid defensive play from Hamlet just didn’t allow hits to fall.

Hamlet found an early groove at the plate in the top of the second inning, though. With two outs and James Esson on first base, Hamlet’s Jacob Williams, the fourth batter of the inning, reached first after a dropped third strike. Riley Brown followed that with a double to center field, sending Esson home for the first run of the game, and Landon Taylor came right behind Brown with a single to bring Williams in. An errant throw from Chatham’s attempt to get Taylor out at first base allowed Brown to reach home and give Hamlet an early 3-0 lead.

Chatham earned its first run in the bottom of the second inning as Simon Delgado, the right fielder from Northwood High School, singled to center field, bringing in the sole baserunner Chancellor Terry.

In the third inning, Post 292 chipped away at Hamlet’s lead some more as Joaquin Gordon, the first baseman out of Chatham Central, singled and was brought home by another single from his former high school teammate Zane Overman.

However, Hamlet took complete control of the game in the top of the fourth inning. Starting the inning off with a hit due to another defensive error from Chatham, Post 49 put six runners on base and four of them scored. Dropped pitches, bad throws and subpar pitching from Post 292 gifted Hamlet a 7-1 lead as Post 49 only hit three singles and was walked three times in the inning.

From there, Chatham couldn’t recover from the deficit. Down 8-2, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Post 292 was able to bring in one more run. Yet, another explosive inning from Hamlet in which Post 49 scored three more runs in the top of the sixth put the game far out of reach.

Following the loss, Chatham picked up its second win of the season with a walk off victory over Randolph County Post 45, 3-2, Thursday. Post 292 fell to Hamlet again, 5-4, Friday, and the team lost to Wayne Post 11, 3-2, Saturday.