PORTSMOUTH — Unfortunately for the Portsmouth Post 23 Senior baseball team, it’s been a slow start out of the gate.
That’s because, for the second consecutive home doubleheader in as many days at Branch Rickey Park, Post 23 found itself swept — this time on Sunday by Chillicothe Post 757.
A day after Ashland swept Post 23 in the season opener, the Chillicothe Colts captured victories of 8-4 in the opener and 2-1 in the nightcap.
Post 23 did lead Ashland 5-0 following three innings in Saturday’s first tilt, but then Post 76 scored six runs in the top of the fourth en route to the win.
On Sunday, Post 23 did take a short-lived lead on Chillicothe in the second game, scoring its only run of the contest in the fourth inning — when Seth Nichols walked and scored two batters later on Logan Hankins’ hit, which was a triple to the left center-field gap.
However, Hankins — the Post 23 second-game starting pitcher — was stranded at third.
And aside from Nichols also reaching on a walk in the sixth, Chillicothe kept Post 23 completely off the bases otherwise.
The Colts collected single runs in the fifth and sixth stanzas, combining a walk, a single, a hit batsman, a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice for the 1-1 tie.
In the sixth, they took the lead at 2-1 — and held on for the win.
In the opener, Chillicothe scored four times in the third, and twice more in the sixth and seventh.
Portsmouth did manage to get hits and baserunners through the opening four innings —including singles by Case Dyer in the first, Jaden Jessee in the third and Chase Conley in the second and fourth.
Nichols doubled in the fourth, but it wasn’t until the fifth that Post 23 finally scored.
After stranding nine men including seven in scoring position in the first game against Ashland, Post 23 continued to leave runners aboard on Sunday.
That included the bases loaded in the second, Jessee at third in the third, runners on the corners in the fourth, and runners on first and second in the fifth.
In the fifth, Jessee singled, stole second and eventually scored, as Braden Harr and Nichols notched singles in the inning — but Post 23 couldn’t cross any more runs.
The Colts retired Portsmouth 1-2-3 in the sixth, before staking an 8-1 advantage after six-and-a-half.
Post 23 cut the deficit in half to 8-4, but could get no closer.
Jessee and Mason Montgomery both walked and scored in the seventh inning — and Harr, Nichols and Conley all singled back-to-back-to-back — but only Harr had another run scored.
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