ASHLAND, Ky. — Portsmouth Post 23 did its best on Tuesday evening to prevent the hand.
Having lost all four of their previous meetings against Ashland Post 76 this season, including their season-opening doubleheader and the first affair of Ashland’s annual Fourth of July Tournament, the Seniors tried to salvage at least one matchup before concluding their regular season.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, as Post 76 scored four first-inning runs followed by three more in the third —en route to making it a perfect 5-for-5 over the Seniors this season as Ashland won 7-4 inside Central Park.
Post 23, which scored twice in the second to trail 4-2 and twice more in the fourth for a 7-4 deficit —ends its regular season at 7-24-1.
Dakota Dodds, the first of four Portsmouth pitchers and 11 total for the game, was charged with the loss after allowing the four first-inning Ashland runs.
Reece Whitley, Hunter Thomas and Logan Hankins also worked for the Seniors, as Zach Francis — the fifth of seven hurlers for the Sixers —earned the win in relief.
Post 23 was poised for a big-bang fourth inning, trailing 7-3 but with one out —and the bases loaded.
Francis came in and got Cade McNeil to sacrifice fly to center, but another flyball out to center-field thwarted that Portsmouth threat.
Post 76 doubled up the Seniors in hits 10-5, as Tyler Maynard went 3-for-3 with two doubles and Neshawn Peppers 2-for-3.
Jackson Feltner, a Morehead State signee, smacked a two-run double in the first frame —followed by a Ben Wilburn RBI-single and a Seth Mills sacrifice fly.
C.J. Fairchild with a single and Maynard with a ground-rule double off Dodds got the Sixers started.
Post 23 also committed three errors compared to only one for Ashland.
Seth Nichols and Hankins had doubles to lead the Seniors at the plate.
Portsmouth will play in the “Region 5” tournament starting Sunday in Chillicothe —as the Seniors are set to play at noon at Hoffman Field against either Hillsboro Post 129, Waverly Post 142 or Chillicothe Post 757.
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