WAVERLY — As Saturday marked the annual Veterans Appreciation Day for the Post 142 baseball program, Shockers’ fans had to appreciate a good comeback victory, a home run to send the second game into extra innings, an excellent walk-off win, and ultimately a doubleheader sweep by the hosts.
Playing in front of veteran servicemen and servicewomen and regular fans alike, the Shockers pulled out a pair of dramatic SCOL triumphs over visiting Hillsboro — winning at Waverly High School by narrow counts of 12-10 in the opener and 10-8 in the nightcap.
With the twinbill sweep, the Shockers — winners of three consecutive — raised their record to 11-7, and to 4-1 in the SCOL.
In the back half, Waverly had scored four times on five hits in its opening at-bat, then added three more in the fourth for a 7-3 advantage when Kannon Pack popped a three-run home run.
But, Pack’s shot was not the most impactful homer on the day.
Hillsboro had scored two runs in the first followed by one in the second, then cut the deficit in half to 7-5 with two more markers in the fifth.
The Mavericks then surged ahead 8-7 entering the bottom of the seventh, thanks to three more runs in the top.
But with two outs in what could have been the Shockers’ final at-bat, Roger Woodruff wouldn’t let that happen.
Instead, he conked a solo home run for the 8-8 tie, which resulted in extra innings —actually one extra inning —occurring.
With Weston Roop relieving Lane Mettler and pitching into his third full frame, he gave up a pair of baserunners with two outs, but no additional damage was done.
That set up the Shockers’ eighth, as Jake Thornsberry reached on an error, Roop sacrificed him over, Pack —with two outs — walked for the third time, and Derek Eblin reached on another error that scored Thornsberry and Pack.
It was both players’ third run scored, as Pack had three runs batted in —thanks to his fourth-frame blast which scored Thornsberry who singled and Roop who walked.
Roop, who was the winning pitcher, went the final three and one-third —as Mettler took over after only a third of an inning and worked the next four and one-third.
Mettler struck out three and Roop two.
Mettler and Roop did manage to strand several Mavericks runners — in addition to Roop leaving two men aboard in the eighth.
Hillsboro had a runner left at second in the fourth, sixth and seventh, runners at second and third in the first, and the bases loaded in the fifth.
The Shockers secured 10 hits, including half of them in the four-run opening inning that quickly erased a 2-0 deficit.
They batted around, combining a Thornsberry double, a Pack walk, an Eblin single, a Mettler two-run double, an Easton Lansing sacrifice fly and singles by Woodruff and Ben Flanders.
From there, and aside from the home runs by Woodruff and Pack and the single by Thornsberry, the Shockers’ only other hits were singles by Lansing in the third and by Flanders in the sixth.
While the second game walk-off was considered a comeback, it wasn’t anywhere near the rally of the Shockers’ first affair.
Hillsboro —with one in the first, three in the third and four in the fourth — held an 8-1 advantage entering that bottom half.
That’s when Waverly batted around and erupted for seven runs for the first of two 8-8 ties on the afternoon.
The Mavericks went back ahead one last time with two in the fifth, but the Shockers immediately answered with the game’s final four runs in their bottom half.
Mason Ratcliff, who pitched the final two and two-thirds for the hosts, was Waverly’s winning pitcher and the final of four hurlers —retiring seven straight Mavericks in fact and eight of the final nine batters he faced.
And, of those final nine, the only runner who reached did so on an error.
That baserunner was stranded at second, as the Shockers left Mavericks aboard at second and third in the first and second stanzas —along with another at second in the fourth and runners on the corners in the fifth.
Josh Wolfe paced the visitors with three hits.
In game one, the Shockers posted only seven hits, including a pair of doubles by Pack.
But, they more than made the most of multiple free bases, including in the opening at-bat — when Michael Goodman walked, Roop grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice, Pack doubled and Eblin grounded out to plate Roop.
The Shockers stormed back in the fourth for the 8-8 tie —batting around and highlighted by a two-run single by Woodruff.
Post 142 drew five walks and a hit batsman in the inning, and added RBI-singles from Roop and Jacob Mathews.
In the four-point fifth, Waverly combined a Thornsberry RBI-single with a walk, an error, a hit batsman, a fielder’s choice and a two-run double by Mettler.
Eblin and Mettler drove in two apiece, as Woodruff, Lansing, Eblin and Roop recorded two runs scored.
The Shockers return to the road on Monday with a non-league matchup at McArthur-Jackson Post 81.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
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