CHILLICOTHE — Apparently, top-seeded Waverly wasn’t about to let third-seeded Hillsboro have another upset.
That’s because the Post 142 Shockers, despite needing nine innings, won in walkoff fashion for their winners’ bracket victory on Tuesday in the Region V American Legion Baseball Seniors Tournament —taking it 3-2 in a morning matchup inside Chillicothe’s VA Memorial Stadium.
That’s correct, with Waverly’s Jase Hurd hitting a deep fly ball into left field in the bottom of the ninth — which went over the Hillsboro defender’s head, and landed for a one-out game-winning single.
It was the Shockers’ 10th and final hit, as Waverly was no-hit by Hillsboro and shut out 7-0 in an SCOL contest only 10 days ago —for the Shockers’ only league loss in eight games played.
Tuesday’s tilt stood tied 2-2 —as the Shockers scored twice in the third, before Hillsboro battled back with both of its points in the fifth.
Going all the way to the ninth, Roger Woodruff —relieving Shocker starting pitcher Ben Nichols on the mound after eight impressive innings —gave up only one Hillsboro hit.
In the bottom half, Woodruff drew a leadoff walk, Tra Swayne sacrifice bunted him over to second, and Alex Boles walked with one away.
The leadoff hitter Hurd hit his high fly to left field, and it was beyond the reach of the Post 129 defender — and which Woodruff crossed when it dropped.
So not only was Woodruff the winning pitcher, he scored the game-winning run.
The Shockers are now 15-12 and, more importantly, play Portsmouth Post 23 in Wednesday’s winners’ bracket final.
First pitch between the top two seeds, right back bright and early at VA Memorial Stadium, is set for 9 a.m.
Portsmouth punched its ticket to the winners’ finals, by erasing a 3-0 deficit against fifth-seeded Chillicothe —and scoring the final 13 runs en route to a 13-3 six-inning mercy-rule rout (see related story).
Nichols notched eight innings pitched for the Shockers, allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out 10.
“Benny was outstanding on the mound for us and Woody came in and threw very well right after him,” said Post 142 coach Jonathan Teeters. “Big win for us to open the tournament. We are excited to remain in the winners’ bracket.”
Hillsboro scored twice off Nichols in the fifth —all with two outs and for all three of his hits.
Isaiah Curtis singled, took second on a wild pitch, Spencer Wyckoff walked, and two batters later, Hunter Burns singled in Curtis and Wyckoff.
The Shockers scored twice in the third —when Boles doubled with one out, L.T. Jordan tripled him home with two outs, and Nichols singled him in.
Jordan, Nichols and Hurd had two hits apiece, as Peyton Harris had a triple in the seventh while Boles walked —but neither scored and sent the game to extra innings.
Other opportunities for the Shockers included Jordan singling in the first and Swayne singling in the fourth but both being stranded, Hurd singling in the fifth but being caught stealing, Roop singling in the sixth but being doubled up as part of a 6-4-3, and Nichols singling but being left at second in the eighth.
But, as it turned out, Waverly wasn’t about to let Hillsboro have another upset —so the Shockers walked it off in the ninth.