CHILLICOTHE — The Portsmouth Post 23 Juniors just wanted to play at least four baseball games.
Instead, they were better by the half-dozen.
That’s because Post 23 got exactly six games in — two per day over three days — as part of last weekend’s Kickoff Klassic tournament in Chillicothe, with some of their tilts taking place at spacious VA Memorial Stadium.
The Juniors, coached by Josh McGraw, finished 4-2 for the event —including a hard-fought 5-1 elimination-game win over host Post 757 from Chillicothe on Sunday.
Speaking of 5-1, they almost made it a 5-1 weekend, but fell 6-5 to the Dayton Classics in Sunday’s semifinal as the result of a walk-off basehit.
The Juniors opened with a pair of 14-8 wins on Friday, over Chillicothe and Granville, before falling 4-3 on Saturday to the eventual tournament champion Columbus Sharks.
Post 23 then bounced back with an 11-4 triumph over the Louisville RBI Bulls on Saturday night, which advanced it to the quarterfinals — where it won its second affair in three days over the host Colts.
McGraw praised the “great” pitching performances by Rodney Moore against the Bulls and Daewin Spence against the Colts, as catcher Caeleb McGraw cleared the bases against the Colts with a game-sealing three-RBI double.
Coach McGraw was more than proud of his young club, which was two runs away from appearing in the tournament championship game.
“The kids showed a lot of heart. We were just pretty much out of pitching by the last game. (Hayden) Yerardi stepped up and pitched well, but six games in three days drained our resources. But great pitching and hitting throughout the whole tournament kept us in every game,” said the coach. “And big props to Caeleb McGraw, who caught all six games in three days. We needed him behind the plate in tough ballgames.”
After a 2-3 start to the season, the Juniors are now 6-5 — as they host Waverly Post 142 on Wednesday.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Portsmouth High School’s Hatcher Field.
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