The Culpeper Post 330 American Legion junior baseball team came up just short in a 4-2 loss at Albemarle Post 74 on Tuesday night.

Culpeper fell behind 3-0 early on, but its bats started to wake up in the top of the fifth inning. Jacob Laws (Liberty-Bealeton) delivered a bases-loaded RBI single during the frame, scoring Xavier Carr (Eastern View) to cut Post 330’s deficit to 3-1.

Mason Sawyers (Culpeper) singled up the middle to start the sixth for Culpeper. Post 330 loaded the bases in the inning, cutting the deficit to 4-2 when Carr scored on a hit by pitch, but it was unable to capitalize any further.

Hunter Hamilton (Eastern View) took the loss on the mound for Culpeper, allowing Albemarle’s first three runs. Hunter Edwards (Liberty) took over for Hamilton when he reached his pitch count limit after five innings of work, allowing a single run in the sixth.

Post 330 head coach Patrick Stead noted that he’s seen considerable growth from the team, which is comprised of young men ranging from 13-15 years old.

“It hurts whether you lose by a little or a lot, but this team is made of nothing if not heart,” he said. “They never back down and they are very scrappy. We’ve had some opportunities to score big, but we just haven’t been able to find that one big hit yet.”

Post 330, which has had a handful of games and practices postponed over the past several weeks due to rain, is now 0-3. Prior to the Albemarle game, it lost 15-0 and 13-5 to Winchester Post 21 and Stafford Post 72, respectively, which are two perenially-tough clubs.

“We’ve been battling Mother Nature since the season started,” Stead said. “It’s very frustrating when you can’t practice or play games, but things feel like they’re finally starting to turn around. The guys are finally starting to get it, and I’m very proud of them and what they represent on the field.”

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