It was an up and down weekend for the Waverly Post 142 baseball team this weekend. The Shockers spent their Fourth of July weekend in Cincinnati, where they went 1-2 on Friday and Saturday in the Dick Keuhn Wood Bat Tournament at Oak Hills High School.
The Shockers started their weekend out against Region Five rival Yeager Post 199 in their first game on Friday. Both teams were knotted up after seven innings, but the time-sensitive format of the tournament prevented teams from playing extra innings.
Because the Yeager game will count toward Region Five standings, Waverly will need to travel to Harrison, Ohio in the next few weeks to complete the game. The Shockers tentatively plan to travel to return to the Cincinnati area on Saturday to take on the 2014 Region 5 Champions.
“I really wish we could have finished the game, (Dylan) Shockley was cruising through the seventh inning,” Waverly head coach Jonathon Teeters said.
Later on Friday, Waverly took its frustrations out on Greenville Post 140. The Shockers put eight runs on the board in the game’s first two innings, as they went on to defeat Post 140 13-0.
Waverly leadoff hitter and Minford graduate Matt Joyce led the way at the plate, going 3-for-4 on the day with two runs and an RBI. Eight of the nine hitters in the Shocker lineup recorded a hit against Greenville, and each batter either a scored run or batted a run home. The Shockers also got solid pitching from South Webster’s Garrett Rawlins, who pitched a complete-game five-hitter while allowing just two Greenville hits.
After the win over Greenville, Waverly just needed a split in Saturday’s doubleheader to advance to the tournament’s championship game on Sunday. However, Post 142 could not carry the momentum over, as they dropped back-to-back games to Ottawa Post 63 and Whitehouse Post 384.
Walks proved to be the difference in game one against Ottawa. Shocker pitching allowed five bases on balls in the first inning alone, allowing Post 63 to send 11 batters to the plate and push six runs across. Waverly pitchers would allow two more walks, a hit batter and an error by the end of the game, giving Ottawa nine free base runners.
The hole proved to be too deep for the Shockers to dig out of. Though Garrett Carmichael went 2-for-3 with a double and Logan Kottenbrook scored two runs, Post 142 couldn’t generate any more offense in the 7-3 loss.
Waverly’s offensive struggles continued in Saturday’s second game against Whitehouse. Minford graduate Dylan Shockley went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, but the Shockers couldn’t manage much else. Shockley’s RBI represented the team’s only run, and Waverly only recorded five hits in a 6-1 loss.
Despite picking up the loss on the mound, Oak Hill’s Shane Spriggs kept the Shockers within striking distance for much of the game. He kept Whitehouse scoreless and held them to one hit in the game’s first three innings before allowing five runs combined in the fourth and fifth.
“Shane tossed a lot better game than his line indicates. I think he got a little tired there in the fifth, but other than that he threw well,” Teeters said.
Though the Shockers failed to advance to the championship game, they more than held their own against some of the state’s best Legion Post teams.
“This tournament was a good measuring stick for us. We were in every ball game, and although we didn’t make it to Sunday I’m happy with our effort and attitude,” Teeters said. “We came away from this tournament a better team.”
In addition, the two losses on Saturday were the team’s first in nearly a month. The Shockers’ loss to Ottawa broke a 13-game winning streak.
Waverly Post 142 is back in action on Tuesday, when they face off with the Chillicothe Cobras at Waverly High School at 6 p.m.
Reach Alex Hider at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931 or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter