CHILLICOTHE — After a tough loss to Yeager Post 199 earlier in the day, it was win or go home for the Shockers against Post 757 on Wednesday afternoon — and Post 142 wasn’t ready to go home.
The Waverly Post 142 baseball team took an early lead in the first and poured it on in the seventh to beat Chillicothe Post 757 8-1 on Wednesday evening and advance to the Region 5 championship game.
The Shockers wasted little time in grabbing the lead, as Minford graduate Matt Joyce led off the game with a triple and was promptly brought home by Waverly’s Logan Kottenbrook with an RBI single. An inning later, with runners on second and third, Jake Henderson brought home Oak Hill’s Shane Spriggs with an RBI single to give the Shockers a 2-0 lead.
From there, Post 142 put the game in the hands of Minford graduate and Rio Grande commit Seth Jenkins. He allowed just one run in over six innings of work, allowing just three hits and striking out four batters.
“It was the best (Jenkins) has thrown all summer,” Post 142 coach Jonathon Teeters said.
Jenkins saved his best stuff for trouble spots. With Waverly holding a slim lead in the early going, he was able to strand Colt runners at third base in both the second and third innings.
Jenkins and his fellow Shocker pitchers also had the benefit of a solid defense behind him. In the fifth inning with a runner on first, Joyce and Portsmouth graduate Sky Oliver made back-to-back leaping catches on the warning track to negate a scoring threat. An inning later, West graduate Brady Knittel snagged a Colt line drive and doubled up a runner with a strike to first base. Finally inn the seventh, the Shockers would work together for an inning-ending 1-4-3 double play.
“I wasn’t worried when they hit the ball,” Jenkins said. “I have a lot of faith in our fielders.”
Post 142 clung to a one-run lead until they broke it wide open in the seventh. After Spriggs lead off the inning by reaching on an error, six straight Shockers followed with a base hit. Six runs scored in the hit parade, which effectively eliminated Post 757 from the double elimination tournament.
The Shockers advance to face Yeager Post 199 on Wednesday in the championship round. Post 142 will need to beat undefeated Yeager in back-to-back games, while Post 199 needs just one win to clinch the championship.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, Yeager defeated the Shockers 10-0 in eight innings — their third victory over Post 142 this summer in as many tries. In that game, Post 199 limited the Shockers to just a single hit in eight innings of work.
“You’re not going to beat anyone with one or two hits,” Teeters said.
Joyce’s solution for hitting the Yeager pitching was simple.
“We just need to stay focused at the plate, sit on the fastball and drive the ball,” he said.
Though the Shockers were forced to play 18 innings of baseball on Wednesday afternoon, Teeters is confident that he has enough pitchers saved up for tomorrow’s games.
“We have two or three guys that are ready to throw tomorrow, and we’re going to give it our best shot,” he said.
|Chillicothe Post 757||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||—||1||4||1|
|Waverly Post 142||1||1||0||0||0||0||6||0||0||—||8||15||0|
Chillicothe Post 757 — Z. Jordan 0-2 (RBI), L. Sarver 1-3, C. Hendershot 1-3, Z. Stapleton 1-1, J. Chester 1-3 (R)
Waverly Post 142 — M. Joyce 2-4 (3B, 2 R, 2 RBI), L. Kottenbrook 2-4 (R, RBI), G. Carmichael 2-4 (3B, RBI), D. Shockley 1-4, S. Spriggs 1-4 (2 R), B. Knittel 2-4 (R), Jo. Henderson 2-4 (R), Ja. Henderson 2-4 (R, 2 RBI), S. Oliver 1-4 (2B)
W — S. Jenkins (6.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 K, 6 BB, 3 H)
L — J. Chester (6 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 K, 0 BB, 9 H)
Records — Waverly Post 142 22-8
Reach Alex Hider at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931 or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter