Madison's Keaton Rowlett tags out Oldham County's Brandon Hackworth during Wednesday's game. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison's Keaton Rowlett tags out Oldham County's Brandon Hackworth during Wednesday's game. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison’s young Post 9 squad surrendered a three-run lead in the top of the ninth but its youth at the bottom of the order quickly rallied in the bottom half of the frame in walk-off fashion to defeat Oldham County Post 39 (Ky.) 7-6 in Legion baseball action at Gary O’Neal Field on Wednesday night.

With only four hits through eight innings, Oldham’s bats exploded in the top of the ninth to spark a rally. Brandon Hackworth led off the frame with a double and scored two batters later when a Daniel Murray groundball was misplayed by the Madison infield.

Murray then scored with two outs on a throwing error after a single by Ryan Archer with Archer then tying the game at 6-6, coming around from second on Matt Teague’s triple.

But keeping its heads held high, Post 9 responded in the bottom of the ninth and did all its damage with two outs on the scoreboard.

Facing extra innings, Keaton Rowlett hit a single and moved to second base when Gabe True ran safely to first on an Oldham throwing error. Madison then loaded the bases the next at-bat when Landon DeAtley was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for a win when Mike Barnes stepped to the plate.

Barnes, an incoming freshman at Madison, delivered. Batting from the nine spot in the order, Barnes immediately went to work, sending the first pitch he saw into right field for a single and scoring Rowlett for a 7-6 victory, the team’s first of the summer season.

“Again it’s a night where we play a lot of inexperienced guys but happy for them to go out and get a win,” Post 9 head coach Tim Armstrong said. “I give Oldham credit, they’ve got some big boys and they hit the tar out of the ball in the last inning. But our young guys had no quit. You know a junior leads off for us in the ninth with a hit and then get a couple more guys on base then an incoming freshman comes up big for us. Overall I couldn’t ask for more.”

Madison never trailed in the game, finding ways to get runners on base throughout the evening. Two hits, three hit batters and an Oldham error resulted in a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning including an RBI by Quinten Humes and RBI single by Craig Demaree. Post 39 took advantage of two errors to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the top of the third but never challenged again until the ninth inning.

Post 9 scored a run in both the fifth and sixth innings on an RBI single by Humes, and Luke McCarty then added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Barnes scored on a Drew Forner single after Oldham had trimmed the game to 5-3 in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Teague that scored Murray.

Rowlett, Demaree and Barnes each had two hits with Barnes adding a run and an RBI. Rowlett scored a run and Demaree added an RBI. All but two players in the lineup finished the night with at least one hit in the game.

“It didn’t matter how we got it done, we just found ways to get runners on base,” Armstrong said. “Our guys just went out and played the game. That’s always our goal and if we do that then everything will fall into place. We had guys throughout the lineup step in at some key spots to help us along the way.”

But as timely as the offense was, Madison’s pitching kept Post 39 at-bay up until its rally in the ninth inning Three Post 9 pitchers combined to allow just seven hits including Southwestern graduate Bailey Elliott, who picked up the win in relief, tossing the game’s final three innings and allowing three runs — two earned — on four hits while striking out two.

Recent Madison graduate Hunter Ferris started the game and was brilliant through four innings of work, allowing two runs — one earned — on just two hits while striking out three and walking two. Drew Forner relieved him and pitched two innings, allowing an earned run on just one hit.

“Drew (Forner) is another kid that is an incoming freshman and I thought he was a bulldog tonight,” Armstrong noted. “Once we develop an offspeed pitch for him he’s going to be very good. Tonight is as well as I’ve seen Hunter (Ferris) pitch in a few weeks and he did his job tremendously. Then of course Bailey coming in and finishing the game for us was big. He threw his game and did it well.”

Teague went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI to lead Oldham. Post 39’s bottom of the order was held to a combined 3-for-11 in the game with its first six batters in the lineup held hitless until the seventh inning.

Cooper Gordon was dealt the loss on the mound after appearing in the ninth inning and allowing the game-winning run and two hits with one strikeout.