Lancaster slips past Shockers

Staff report

PIKETON — In their latest encounter against Lancaster Post 11, the Shockers struggled offensively from first pitch to final out.

With only two hits and six total baserunners, and despite a strong pitching performance from starter Mason Ratcliff, the Shockers suffered a 3-1 loss against visiting Lancaster on Tuesday at Piketon High School.

The loss left Post 142, playing for the first time since their 2-2 tally at the Jim Jadwin Memorial Tournament in Chillicothe over last weekend, at 8-6.

On the final day of June in their season that officially started three weeks ago on Wednesday, the Shockers have already played Post 11 four times — with a 2-2 split thanks to Tuesday’s outcome.

The Shockers split a season-opening doubleheader at Lancaster on June 12, then prevailed 3-2 in a home bout against the Fairfield Countians two weeks back.

Unfortunately, baserunners were few and far between this time — as it took two fielding errors and a wild pitch by Post 11 moundman Moore to give way to Waverly’s only point.

In the fourth frame, Michael Goodman —who reached on an E-6 in the opening inning —reached on another E-6, as Weston Roop reached on an E-3 combined with his sacrifice attempt.

Goodman got to third on Roop’s at-bat and Roop himself to second, as Goodman motored home on the wild pitch.

That tied the tilt at 1-1, but Roop was left stranded at third — as Moore retired the next five Shockers he faced following a stretch of setting down eight consecutive after Goodman got on in the first.

Roop hit into a double play to erase Goodman in the opening inning.

In the fifth, with two outs, Levi Coriell drew a walk with Roger Woodruff singling, but they too were left aboard.

Roop then singled to lead off the sixth, but the final six Shocker hitters were retired, including the final four via strikeout.

It was a good game spoiled from Ratcliff, who threw the first five and one-third innings for Waverly and struck out five.

He gave up an unearned run in the fourth and another in the sixth, as he scattered eight hits while walking one in the first frame and hitting two.

Jacob Mathews relieved Ratcliff for the final one and one-third, as he walked one while striking out three — retiring the final five he faced.

Lancaster went ahead 3-1 in the sixth as both stanza runs were charged to Ratcliff.

”Mason (Ratcliff) threw very well, and Jacob (Mathews) was solid in relief, but you’re just not going to win many games with two hits,” said Waverly coach Jonathan Teeters.

Ratcliff actually escaped a pair of bases-loaded jams in the first and fifth — as Ethan Hyme in the first and Drew Legg in the fifth drilled doubles.

Tylor Wolfe drew a walk and Brody Poston was hit by a pitch in the first, followed by Ethan Huffman reaching on an error and Hyme hit by a pitch in the fifth.

In the third, Gavin Rowland singled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and a balk —but he too was left stranded.

Drew Berstler singled to lead off the second, but Ratcliff got him to hit into the extremely rare 6-3-5 double play.

The guests got on the board in the fourth —when Poston singled to lead off, advanced to second on a Drew Anthony sacrifice bunt, dashed to third on a passed ball, and sprinted home on a wild pitch.

In the sixth, Lancaster broke the tie by combining a Shocker error, singles by Anthony, Berstler and Huffman, and a Rowland walk for its two runs.

Poston, who reached on the Waverly miscue, and Anthony both scored.

The Shockers return home, and return to league action, on Thursday when they host Chillicothe Post 757.

First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Staff report