Nick Kemper hit a pair of home runs and finished the game going 3-for-3 with two homers, five RBIs and three runs scored in an 11-3 victory to start the day.
“Nick’s an awful good hitter,” Post 23 coach Jack Branon said. “It doesn’t surprise me he hits two home runs like that in this game, going to left-center with it. Nick hits the ball hard the opposite way. When he’s right that is where the ball goes.”
The Blue and White utilized a five-run second inning to gain the advantage and played add on late en route to the victory.
Minford’s Jarred Farmer took the hill for Post 23. Farmer went the distance, giving up three runs on five hits to pick up the win.
Jared has pitched two great games for us already this season,” Branon said. “We’re tickled to death with the job that he has done.”
For the Panthers, Jake Virkorich took the loss. Virkorich went 4.1 innings allowing eight runs on eight hits. Virkorich struck out one and walked one.
After turning a 4-6-3 double play to end the top half of the second inning, Post 23 showed what they could do with the bats.
Aaron Oesch started the rally with a one-out single. Farmer reached on an error and Caleb Leach singled in Oesch to break the scoreless tie. Dakota Luster then singled in Farmer and put the Scioto County team up by a pair. After Zach Bukiewicz reached on a fielder’s choice, Kemper smashed a three-run blast over the left-center field fence to give Post 23 a 5-0 lead.
The Panthers mounted a rally in the fifth with the aide of some mental mistakes by the Post 23 defense.
“We had a couple of misplayed balls to start the inning,” Branon said. “That put a couple of guys on. I think If that hadn’t happened he would’ve pitched a shutout.”
Josh Bassinger and Stewart Trego both reached on infield hits for post 134. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Evan Whitten singled in Bassinger.
Two batters later, Virkorich doubled in two more runs to cut the lead to 5-3. With two outs, a ball to center field looked like it would cut farther into the lead but Bukiewicz made a perfect throw to nail the runner at the plate to end the inning.
“The credit to end that inning goes to Bukiewicz,” Branon said. “The throw Buck made from center field was just fantastic. They sent the guy and Buck hit home plate with the throw and got us out of that inning.”
Post 23 had the answer in the home half of the inning. Kemper began the frame with a lead-off walk. Back-to-back base hits brought Kemper around to make it 6-3. Another run scored on a passed ball and Farmer helped his own cause driving in the fourth run of the inning building a six-run lead for the Blue and White,
In the sixth inning, Post 23 played add on. Kemper hit his second home run to give Post 23 the eight run margin of victory.
“I was just trying to put the bat on the ball,” Kemper said. “I was just trying to get hits. We didn’t have a real big lead so I was trying to get hits and do what I can.”
The Panthers led Post 23 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning when play was suspended in game 2.
Post 23 plays Gallipolis today at the University of Rio Grande field at 6 p.m.
BRET BEVENS can be reached at (740)-353=3101 ext. 242
Post 134 000 030 0 — 3 5 2
Post 23 050 042 X — 11 10 0
WP: Farmer; LP: Virkorich
Hitting Leaders —
Post 134 — Virkorich 1-3 2RBI, Bassinger 2-3 R, Trego 1-3 R, Whitten 1-3 R.
Post 23 — Bukiewicz 1-3 2R, Kemper 3-3 2HR 3R 5RBI, White 1-4 RBI, Oesch 2-3 2R, Farmer 1-3 R RBI, Leach 1-3 R RBI, Luster 1-2 RBI.
Record — Post 23 9-2