In any sport, it is vital for a team to be playing its best baseball at the right time.
And if Waverly’s strong finish to the regular season is any indication, the Shockers could be set to make a strong postseason run well into the last week of July.
Behind two poundings of Hillsboro Post 129 and a victory over Athens Post 21, Post 142 was able to collect a 3-1 record to close out the season with a 7-3 overall mark in South Central Ohio League (SCOL) action and obtain a first round bye in the American Legion Region V Tournament that will be held in Chillicothe on Saturday.
Sunday (7/9) — Waverly vs. Hillsboro Post 129
Game 1 — Waverly 13, Hillsboro 0 (F/5)
As the last week of SCOL play commenced, Post 142 wasted no time making a big statement as Waverly trounced Hillsboro Post 129, 13-0, in the first contest of a doubleheader last Sunday.
Waverly, behind the help of Scioto County standouts Xander Carmichael and Tanner Cunningham, along with Waverly stronghold Logan Kottenbrook, collected three hits and two RBI apiece as Post 142 — who collected 16 hits and 12 RBI on the day — was never challenged in the romp.
In addition to the efforts of the star trio, Oak Hill’s Shane Spriggs came up large by going 1-for-3 with two RBI of his own. The Marietta College signee added five innings of two-hit baseball to get Post 142 off to a strong start during the week.
“Shane gave us a nice outing,” Waverly Post 142 head coach Jonathan Teeters said. “He didn’t have the normal command that he has, but he did enough for us today. Tanner came up big in the first with a big two-out double to get things started. We just took off after that.”
Garrett Moore (2-for-2, RBI) and Eli Ruth (2-for-3, RBI) added their own multi-hit efforts while Ian Gillen and Braden Simms each collected a hit and an RBI in the winning cause.
Game 2 — Waverly 13, Hillsboro 1 (F/5)
Kottenbrook, however, wasn’t done. The multi-dimensional athlete added a double and an RBI in yet another three-hit performance to lead Post 142 to yet another monstrous victory over Post 129, 13-1, in the latter affair on Sunday.
Behind the efforts of Kottenbrook and Braden Simms, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI of his own, Waverly pounded out 11 additional hits and 10 RBI as Post 142 continued to set the tone throughout the day.
“I am very proud of our team and their effort today,” Teeters said. “I told the guys what was on the line today and they certainly responded.”
Cunningham, who got the start and threw two innings last Sunday, picked up his second win of the year by striking out five Hillsboro batters while allowing just two hits. Shane Vulgamore pitched the final trio of innings and struck out six batters while allowing no hits during his frame of work to seal the deal.
It’s nice knowing we secured a first round bye in the regional tournament. We are really starting to come around and play good baseball, and I’m excited to see where that will take us.”
Spriggs, who went 1-for-3 with three RBI, and Garrett Moore, who collected an RBI on his 2-for-3 day at the dish, joined Kottenbrook and Simms in the multi-hit column. Ian Gillen (1-for-2, two RBI) and Kayne Jordan (1-for-2, double, RBI) rounded out the Waverly lineup.
Monday (7/10) — Waverly vs. Athens Post 21
Waverly 9, Athens 5 (F/9)
After collecting the doubleheader victories, Post 142 continued its offensive tear the following evening as the Shockers collected a strong 9-5 victory over Athens Post 21 last Monday behind six hits and a strong pitching performance from Josh Faro.
Faro, who threw five and two-thirds innings of baseball on the hill, showed off his tools on the mound by striking out nine batters and walking only one. Athens collected five runs during Faro’s time on the hill, but none of those five runs were earned as the Post 142 stronghold continued to battle despite some miscues in the field.
“Josh really set the tone for us tonight,” Teeters said. “He was exceptional on the hill. He pounded the zone and kept (Post 21) off balance.”
In addition to Post 142’s efforts, Jake Reed had a breakout performance for the Shockers as Reed went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run in the fifth inning of play, and three RBI. Reed added two and one-third innings of work on the mound to seal the deal on a fantastic performance.
“Offensively, we were able to jump on them early,” Teeters said. “Jake’s home run in the fifth really sealed the deal. I’m sure the Reed household is very proud of his performance today both offensively and on the hill.”
Spriggs, who went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI, Carmichael, who added two RBI of his own on a 1-for-3 day at the plate, and Simms, who went 1-for-4 with a RBI, were all instrumental in the outcome.
Tuesday (7/11) — Waverly vs. North Columbus
North Columbus 5, Waverly 1 (F/7)
In their final contest of the regular season, Post 142 fell to the North Columbus Raiders, 5-1, on Tuesday evening.
Ian Gillen, Garrett Moore, and Alex Martin all combined to allow just six hits as Waverly put together another solid showing against a strong North Columbus unit, with Moore and Martin allowing no runs over the final four and two-thirds innings of play. Ruth, Spriggs, and Simms each collected a hit on the day to lead Post 142 offensively.
Even with the regular-season-ending loss, Teeters was still pleased with his unit’s performance over the course of the week.
“We’re really playing good baseball at the right time,” Teeters said. “These guys have stuck to it and we’re ready to go into tournament play.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7