PORTSMOUTH – Despite falling victim to an early deficit in Thursday’s matchup with Waverly Post 142, Portsmouth Post 23 made a late rally to tie Thursday’s game they once trailed by 4-0. However, due to some timely hitting from the Shockers, the Dickeys comeback bid would ultimately fall short as Waverly claimed a 6-4 victory in extra innings.
The stakes of Thursday’s game were bigger than a typical league game, also. The winner of Thursday’s game would position themselves perfectly to win the league championship and earn the number one seed in the upcoming Region V Tournament. Waverly won, so they clinched both accolades as the regular season for Legion Baseball quickly winds to an end.
“Our last couple of games we’ve been struggling early, and then we fight back at the very end,” said Post 23 Head Coach Brady Knittel following Thursday’s loss to Post 142. “Ultimately, that’s what you want to see from your team is that battling. But we have to do that for all seven innings in the future.”
Despite two seperate weather delays triggered by impending threats of rain and storm, the umpire crew determined they would try to finish Thursday’s game on the same day it was started.
Waverly got the scoring started off early when in the top of the second inning three different Shockers would pick up RBI hits to help get their team on the board. Brayden Snodgrass got things started with an RBI double which scored Tanner Cunningham followed by Tucker Tackett’s two RBI triple which scored Snodgrass and Ian Gillen and finally by Derek Eblin’s RBI single which drove in Tackett from third.
Tanner Cunningham picked up the win on the mound for Post 142 while pitching 3.2 innings allowing six hits as well as having all four runs scored by Post 23 accredited to him.
Post 23 tied the score at 4-4 when Seth Nichols singled to drive in Luke Lindamood, Jaden Jessee scored on a wild pitch, and Bryce Ponn drove in Nichols and Darius Jordan for a two RBI single.
Dakota Dodds effort on the mound for Post 23 lasted 4 1/3 innings while allowing five hits, four earned runs, and six strikeouts.
“Tanner’s a great pitcher, always has been even when we faced him at Valley,” Knittel said. “Dakota pitched phenomenal despite that second inning. We talked to him about minimizing, throwing strikes, and getting us back in the game. He did all of that.”
Derek Eblin entered the game for 142 in the fifth inning to relieve Cunningham. Eblin allowed four hits, three walks, and no runs in his four innings of work.
Post 23’s comeback bid would ultimately fall short when in the top of the eighth inning, Tucker Tackett came up huge with a no out two RBI double to give 142 the lead at 6-4 which would ultimately be the final score.
Thursday’s result guarantees that the Dickeys will have the second overrall seed in the Region V Tournament in Chillicothe at the VA. For Knittel’s bunch moving forward, he’d like to see a complete effort before they begin tournament play during their final week of the regular season.
“Something I’d like to see from us in these last couple of games before we move into tournament is trying to finish a full game,” Knittel said. “Trying to make sure we’re playing the first inning through the seventh inning. If we do that, we’re a good ball club.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved