Over the course of the past week, post play action has been heating up — and with it, the efforts of the best players in all of Scioto County.
While the Portsmouth Post 23 and Waverly Post 142 squads had mixed results in their affairs with outside competition, Scioto County’s best baseball players wasted no time shining bright in American Legion play.
Thursday, June 8 — Jackson 1, Portsmouth 0
Despite an excellent pitching effort from Bradley Gee and five hits by the Post 23 seniors, Jackson Post 81 was able to defend its home turf with a walk off single to edge Post 23 in a well-played senior league affair at Jackson on Thursday evening.
Gee, who has signed with Shawnee State, threw six innings of three-hit baseball and struck out a dozen Post 81 batters to record a 2.4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Tayte Carver threw the final two-thirds of an inning and only allowed one hit while showing the confidence that has made the sophomore one of the area’s players to watch in the future.
“Tough loss tonight,” Post 23 head coach Matt Miller said. “Bradley threw the ball well for six innings. His pitch count got up a little bit, but he threw the ball well for not having thrown much in a while. Tayte came in and threw well in the 7th. We had a couple miscues that hurt us, but overall, we played a pretty clean game pitching and fielding wise.”
Carver, along with fellow Green hand Tanner Kimbler, Wheelersburg product Evan Dahm, East standout Drew Lowe, and West stronghold Garrett Hurd, each collected a hit in the contest, with Carver and Kimbler drawing a trio of walks in the contest. Unfortunately, Post 23 wasn’t able to put any runs on the board as a strong Jackson effort kept Portsmouth off of the scoreboard.
We didn’t hit the ball very well tonight,” Miller said. “We got under way too many balls and I feel like we were jumping at the ball. It’s still early and the boys haven’t swung the bat much the last three weeks, so I have confidence that we will start getting better swings as we go along. We will regroup from this and come out better from it the next game.”
The Post 23 senior league squad fell to 2-1 on the season with the defeat. Portsmouth, however, will get a chance to bounce back on Saturday with a doubleheader against Sidney Post 217. The contest, which is scheduled to be played at Valley, will start at 12 p.m.
North Columbus 12, Waverly 11
The Waverly Post 142 Shockers suffered a close defeat at the hands of the North Columbus Raiders on Thursday evening as Post 142 fell by a 12-11 tally.
West product Mardy Knittel and Valley standout Tanner Cunningham proved to play a vital role in the offensive outburst for Post 142, as the pair combined to go 2-for-7 on the evening with a triple and three RBI on the evening. Braden Simms led the way for Post 142 by collecting three RBI via his 4-for-5 day at the plate.
“This game could have went either way,” Waverly Post 142 head coach Jonathan Teeters said. “At the end of the day, we just hurt ourselves too much with some mental lapses in the field. Scoring 11 runs should always be plenty enough to win a ball game.
Waverly, who is now 4-4 on the year, will host Jackson Post 81 in a doubleheader that will commence at 11 a.m.
Waverly 13, Logan 3 (F/6)
However, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Waverly’s results proved to be much more fruitful. Behind a four-hit pitching performance from Shane Vulgamore, Post 142 crushed Logan Post 78, 13-3 in a six-inning mercy rule on Wednesday evening.
Vulgamore, who threw five innings in all, struck out eight batters and walked only one en route to the decision. Knittel, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, and Valley’s Jesse Jones, who added a 1-for-2 performance at the plate with an RBI, were among the Scioto County players who helped in the winning cause.
“Shane tossed the ball very well for a guy making his first start at the senior level,” Teeters said. “We asked him to give us five innings and that’s exactly what he served up. He pounded the zone, got ahead in the count, and hit his spots. The Vulgamore household should be very proud of the effort and performance he gave tonight.”
Waverly 4, Chillicothe 2
In what turned out to be a pitching duel, the efforts of Clayton Howell, who hung in for a complete game performance en route to a 4-2 victory over Chillicothe Post 62 on Tuesday evening.
Howell, a multi-sport standout under the Waverly High School banner, struck out nine batters, allowed just two hits, and only walked a pair for a 4.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
“When Clayton throws like he did tonight, he’s going to be a tough guy to square up,” Teeters said. “His slider was sharp and he had command of his fastball.”
Once again, Knittel’s bat was on the money for the Shockers as the standout Senator collected two hits in three trips, including a critical double in the first inning that allowed Howell to play with an early lead. Howell then added a RBI, behind his own 1-for-3 day at the dish, to help his own cause.
“Marty came up with a big double there in the first,” Teeters said. “It’s always nice to jump on a team early and let your pitcher pitch with a lead.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7