A big first inning gave Post 23 the lead all game long but the Chillicothe Blaze managed to stave off the ten-run rule for most of the night. Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday night at Minford, Post 23 led 7-1 when Adam Wamsley led off with a double, Bryan White scored him on the next at bat, Jared Farmer got a double and he and White scored on Matt Harcha's single.
Zac Bukiewicz tripled to score Harcha and then scored the final run on a Daniel Armstrong single to end the game.
The sixth inning wasn't the only big one for Post 23. John Harcha led off the game with a line-drive home run over the center field wall and three more runs crossed the plate in the first inning.
“John really set the pace for us,” said Post 23 coach Jack Branon. “In the first inning, I thought we had a good approach. John started it off and Dustin (Cook) hit a shot after him ... We got some runs and got it going there.”
Post 23's offense went dormant for the next couple of innings until Matt Harcha figured his brother's homerun ball was lonely and wanted some company. Matt belted a homerun in the second at-bat of the fifth inning to make the score 5-0.
“From (the first inning) on, in the next couple innings, our guys thought they were going to hit everything out of the ballpark as their pitcher was throwing slower and slower,” said Branon. “Matt leading off the fifth inning with that homerun really got us back on track hitting-wise.”
While the offense worked in spurts on Wednesday, the Post 23 defense was an impenetrable blue and white wall. Post 23 committed no errors in the game and gave up only one run.
The one run for Chillicothe came in the sixth inning. The Blaze's Denver Snyder, who went 3 for 3 in the game, singled and stole second base. Pitcher Ryan Shreve hit the ball into center field for what looked to be an RBI double.
Bukiewicz fielded the ball cleanly and rocketed it in to Wamsley, who relayed to Kylon Crabtree at second base to get Shreve out.
Jared Farmer got the win for Post 23 and Shreve took the loss for the Blaze.
“They got a lead and our pitcher finally settled down after they got the lead,” said Blaze coach Ed Shreve. “I think it was 4-0 in the first inning. We went through about three or four innings there where they didn't score. It was hot. They're a good hitting ball team and we just couldn't get that clutch hit when we needed to.”
JOHN STEGEMAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chillicothe Blaze 000 001 - 1 7 0
Post 23 400 115 - 11 16 0
WP: Farmer. LP: Shreve
Chillicothe Blaze - D. Snyder 3-3; Shreve 2-3 RBI; Hottinger 1-1, sac bunt.
Post 23 - J. Harcha 1-2, HR, 2BB; Wamsley 3-4; White 2-4, 3RBI; Farmer 2-4; M. Harcha 2-3, HR, 3RBI; Bukiewicz 3-4, 2RBI; Armstrong 2-4 2RBI.
Records - Chillicothe Blaze 4-7; Post 23 16-8.