Jacksonville Post 265’s season came to a forgettable end Wednesday night.

With Lucas Oxendine smacking three home runs, including a grand slam, and driving in 8 runs, Hope Mills rolled past Jacksonville 22-0 to sweep the best-of-three Area II American Legion second-round playoff series at White Oak High School.

The game was called after seven innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Jacksonville, which lost 19-0 at Hope Mills on Tuesday in the first game of the series, finishes 10-12.

Hope Mills (17-5) advances to the Area II championship best-of-three series Saturday against Wilmington Post 10 (21-3), which beat Whiteville 6-3 to sweep that series.

On a breezy night, the Boosters got all the runs they needed in the first inning, sending 21 batters to the plate and scoring 15 runs. Along with Oxendine’s grand slam over the left-field fence, Terrence Staples smacked a two-run blast.

And then Oxendine added yet another homer in the first – this a two-run blast.

Zach Knapp hit a solo homer in the second inning as the Boosters banged out 21 hits, including Oxendine’s third homer – a two-run shot in the fifth inning.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Oxendine, who earlier this year threw a no-hitter against Post 265. “I don’t go up there looking to do it. My team got me in situations, the first time the bases were loaded and I was trying to get something to the outfield and it just so happened I did my job there and the ball carried out of the park. A little bit of wind helped me out on that one.”

Oxendine said he had never hit three homers in a game and that it was his first grand slam this season.

Jacksonville managed just one hit – a first-inning single by Will Faircloth – and had just four runners reach base. Riley Barber walked twice, including once after Faircloth’s single to send his teammate to second base. It was the only time Post 265 got a runner as far as second.

Ismael Ortega walked in the fifth inning for Jacksonville’s only other base runner.

Meanwhile, it's on to the Area II finals for Hope Mills.

"I feel like we're the best team in this conference," Oxendine said. "I haven't felt like any of the losses we've had were legit losses. I think that we either we played bad of the baseball gods weren't in our favor that night. I feel like we should beat Wilmington."

 

Hope Mills (15);3;0;1;2;1;0;–;22;21;0

Jacksonville 0;0;0;0;0;0;0;–;0;1;4

WP– Strickland (NA) 2 IP 0 H 0 R 0 ER 2 K 0 BB. LP– Land (1-2) 2/3 IP 9 H 10 R 9 ER 0 K 3 BB. LEADING HITTERS–HM: Oxendine 3-4 3 HRs 8 RBIs 4 runs 2 BBs; Staples 2-3 HR 2 RBIs 2 runs HBP BB; Knapp 2-4 HR 2 RBIs 3 runs; Reneo 3-6 2B 2 RBIs HBP 3 runs; Chavis 3-3 RBI SB 2 runs BB. J: Faircloth 1-3. RECORDS–HM: 17-5, vs. Wilmington Post 10 in best-of-three Area II championship series beginning Saturday. J 10-12, season complete.