While his team cut down on their errors and mental mistakes, the Post 23 squad could not find a way to slow down Ohio Elite. Before it was all said and done, Ohio Elite walked away with a 16-1 victory over Post 23 in five innings at Portsmouth High School’s Hatcher Field.
“I didn’t think the total effort was there,” Branon said. “I think to a certain degree there’s maybe a little bit of a lack of effort and a little bit of just giving up. You can’t give up.”
When it was all said and done, Ohio Elite knocked out 16 hits off the Post 23 pitching trio of Patrick Riehl, Brett Hood and Rob Dwyer. The hit parade started early.
Against the first batter of the game, Riehl’s first offering to Cody Spires screamed over the left field wall and gave Ohio Elite the 1-0 lead. Most of the players on the Ohio Elite roster live in the Columbus metropolitan area and play for OHSAA Division I schools.
“That set the tone, didn’t it,” Branon said. “Although really to Patrick’s credit, he did fight through that first inning, made a couple of nice pitches and got out of it with just the one run.”
While he exited the inning relatively unscathed after the home run, Riehl’s afternoon on the mound would not extend past the second.
In the second, Ohio Elite batted around in its 10-person lineup before Branon pulled Riehl in favor of Hood.
“In the second inning, the just jumped on it and we just couldn’t get somebody warmed up quick enough to get him out of there,” Branon said.
Hood allowed two more runs in the frame before he struck out Nate Squires to end the inning.
Riehl was charged with 10 runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 innings of work. The Valley product struck out two, walked three and hit two on 50 pitches. Prior to Thursday, Riehl had allowed one game this season.
“He’ll come back because he’s a battler,” Branon said. “He’s a tough kid, he’ll be back.”
Dwyer completed the final three innings as he allowed four runs on two hits. The fellow Indian walked two, struck out one and retired Ohio Elite in order in both the fourth and fifth innings.
On the other side, Kris Popham earned his second win of the season for Ohio Elite. The rising Olentangy Liberty senior went the distance as he struck out seven, walked two, allowed four hits and one run.
Post 23 continues action in the Gene Bennett Classic today with a pair of contests. Game one will start at 2 p.m. at Branch Rickey Park against the Midwest Mules. The finale of the night is a 7 p.m. start at Hatcher Field against the Kentucky Baseball Club.
Although he was not impressed with his team’s effort in both contests, Branon believes the two games — an 8-1 loss to the Ohio Warhawks and the 16-1 defeat to the Ohio Elite — will be a positive thing to his team in the near future.
“Hopefully we’ve realized that you just keep playing, you don’t look at the scoreboard and you just go out there and play hard and do the best that you can do,” Branon said.
CODY LEIST can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at (740) 353-3101 ext. 242.
Ohio Elite1 (11) 40 0—16 13 1
Post 230 0 00 1—1 4 1
Ohio Elite — Spires 2-3 (HR, HBP, 2 RBI, 3 R), Ni. Squires 1-3 (3B, BB, 3 RBI, R), Pollock 1-2 (HBP, R), Kettering 1-2 (2 BB, SB), Fries 1-3 (2 RBI, 2 R), Simmerman 2-3 (2 2B, SB, 6 RBI, R), Beard 2-3 (2 SB, RBI, 2 R), Miller 1-2 (2B, BB, SB, 2 R), Glaze 0-2 (BB, RBI, R).
Post 23 — Loop 1-2 (BB), Boyer 0-1 (RBI), Parsley 1-2, Burchett 1-2, Bailey 0-1 (BB, R), Hood 1-2.
WP — Popham (2-0)
LP — Riehl (2-1)
Records — Ohio Elite 5-1; Post 23 13-5