American Legion Baseball
Portsmouth Post 23 12, Chillicothe Post 757 9
Despite the postponement of the second affair against Chillicothe Post 757 due to rain (3-3 deadlock in the bottom of the fifth inning), the trip up U.S. 23 proved to be a fruitful one for Portsmouth Post 23 as the Senior Legion unit was able to obtain a 12-9 victory over Post 757 on Saturday afternoon in Chillicothe by overcoming a 6-1 deficit after two innings of action.
On the hill, Lloyd (Ky.) Greenup County standout Ryan Lambert, who made his first appearance on the hill for Post 23 in Saturday’s contest, battled through a tough Post 757 lineup by throwing six full innings. Lambert gave up 11 hits but allowed just four earned runs off of those 11 hits as Post 23 stayed stride-for-stride with Post 757, while Jesse Jones followed Lambert up by throwing a scoreless seventh frame en route to sealing the deal.
“Ryan didn’t have his best stuff, but he really battled out there today,” Post 23 head coach Matt Miller said. “He really only had one bad inning and we had a couple errors behind him, but he was able to scatter their hits and throw six tough innings. Jesse came in and pitched a strong seventh frame to secure the win.”
Offensively, Post 23 continued to strike the baseball with ferocity as Portsmouth collected 16 hits for the contest. Brayden Davis (2-for-5, two runs scored), Lambert’s fellow high school and future SSU teammate Isaiah Greene (2-for-5, two doubles, two RBI, two runs scored), Jesse Jones (2-for-3, double, three RBI, two runs scored), Will Darling (2-for-3, two RBI, run scored), Tyler Speas (2-for-3, run scored), and Jared Morrow (2-for-4, run scored) all collected multi-hit efforts on the day, while Lambert (1-for-4, double, RBI, run scored), Reid Shultz (1-for-2, run scored), Ethan Lauder (1-for-2), and Jarrett Stamper (1-for-2, run scored) all reached the hit column, as well.
“Offensively, we hit the ball hard all day,” Miller said. “We were down five after two innings of work, but the boys never gave in and fought their way back. I’m proud of them. It feels good to get our first league win, and hopefully, we can build on the momentum.”
Game 2 — Portsmouth Post 23 10, Hillsboro Post 129 5
In addition to Portsmouth’s victory on Saturday afternoon, the Minford tandem of Brayden Davis and Reid Shultz were critical in a Post 23 victory to conclude a doubleheader against Hillsboro Post 129 as Portsmouth collected a 10-5 victory on Friday evening in Hillsboro thanks to the duo’s combined seven innings of work on the hill and four runs scored on the basepaths.
Davis, who saw his first action on the hill in 2018, threw five solid innings of seven-hit baseball and held a strong Hillsboro unit to just three earned runs in all. Shultz finished off the winning effort by striking out three batters over the final two frames en route to preserving the decision.
“Brayden threw the ball well for five strong innings tonight,” Miller said. “He hasn’t thrown in a couple years, but he battled out there. Then Reid came in and pitched two strong innings.”
At the plate, Tyler Speas proved to have the hot bat as the Notre Dame standout went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored in the contest, while Seth Nichols followed Speas up with a two-RBI effort of his own by going 1-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and the two RBI.
Behind the main duo, Davis (1-for-3, two runs scored), Shultz (1-for-4, two runs scored), Will Darling (1-for-2, RBI, run scored), Isaiah Greene (1-for-5, double, RBI, two runs scored), and Jaden Jessee (1-for-1, RBI) all reached the hit column as Post 23 scored its 10 runs on nine base hits.
“Offensively, we hit the ball well and got some balls to drop this game, which allowed us to push some runs across. I wish that we could have won the league game, but I’m proud of the boys for keeping the fight and earning the split.”
Game 1 — Hillsboro Post 129 7, Portsmouth Post 23 0
In Friday evening’s opener against Post 129, Post 23 wasn’t able to get untracked as Portsmouth was held to six hits offensively while errors stymied an otherwise strong effort on the hill from Isaiah Greene and Tyler Speas as Post 23 fell by a 7-0 tally.
Greene, who got the start, gave up just five hits and walked only two through four innings of work, while Speas allowed only a single earned run to cross through two frames of action on the hill. The latter went 2-for-3 at the dish while the former added in a 1-for-3 day at the plate.
Jared Morrow (2-for-2) and Will Darling (1-for-3) also joined the hit column for Portsmouth.
“We didn’t play well defensively,” Miller said. “We had 3 errors in one inning that really hurt us and gave Hillsboro a few runs. Tyler and Isaiah both threw the ball pretty well, we just didn’t make the plays behind them. Offensively, we hit the ball, but just hit it right at them all game. There’s nothing that we could do about that except to keep hitting with the same approach that we have been, and we did that all weekend. That, and just a resilient group of boys, resulted in us rebounding in the manner that we did.”
Post 23 improved to 9-8 on the season and 1-4 in SCOL play with the 2-1 result to the weekend. In addition to Saturday’s finale with Post 757, Monday evening’s affair against Chillicothe Post 62 was also rained out due to inclement weather. A reschedule date for the latter affair has not been set yet.
Portsmouth is scheduled to play host to Circleville Post 134 on Thursday evening at 6 p.m.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT