PIKETON — The Shockers, on Saturday, were originally set to pull an Ernie Banks — and play two at Piketon High School.
But because the weatherman intervened in the afternoon after the morning meeting, Waverly Post 142 hosted Hillsboro Post 129 for just one SCOL American Legion Baseball affair.
And, the Shockers made good on that game — winning over Hillsboro 5-1 for their first league win (1-4 SCOL) in five tries this summer.
Waverly — which will play Hillsboro in a makeup matchup this week with the Ohio Region V Tournament taking place starting next Monday, July 19 — raised its record to 7-11, which is a far cry from how the Shockers started the season with six consecutive losses.
Against Hillsboro, the Shockers scored three third-inning runs and batted around —before tallying one more marker apiece in innings five and six.
Hillsboro held a 1-0 lead with its only run in the third, but it quickly evaporated —as Shockers’ starting pitcher and ace Derek Eblin allowed only one hit while striking out eight.
And, that only Hillsboro hit occurred in the sixth with two outs, as Eblin retired the opening six batters he faced — before issuing three straight free passes to open the third on back-to-back walks with a hit batsman.
With the bases loaded against Eblin, the guests got their earned run on a 4-6-3 double play, as Eblin induced the final out of the inning on a fly ball to right field.
From there, Eblin allowed only two-out walks in both the fourth and fifth frames —followed by giving up his sixth-inning single.
Roger Woodruff worked the seventh for Waverly, and gave up a one-out walk with one strikeout.
Meanwhile, the Shockers scored all five of their runs in a row to end things —as their only baserunners in the opening two innings were Eblin on a two-out error in the first and Easton Lansing singling and Peyton Harris walking in the second.
But batting from top to bottom in the third, the first three batters — L.T. Jordan, Weston Roop and Eblin — all reached and scored, with Jordan and Roop registering singles and Eblin getting aboard on what was ruled a sacrifice.
With two outs, Eblin advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored, as the next three Shockers also reached — with J.T. Barnett and Harris hammering singles and Ben Flanders drawing a walk to load the bases again.
Jordan drew a walk to lead off the fourth, but it wasn’t until the fifth when Waverly made it 4-1 — when Woodruff led off by being hit by a pitch, raced to second on a wild toss, and scored on a one-out single by Barnett.
In the sixth, the Shockers upped the advantage to 5-1 —when Roop singled with two outs and Eblin knocked him in with a double.
Waverly was set to play at non-league newcomer Ironton on Monday, while returning home —and returning to non-league action — against Raceland (Ky.) on Tuesday.
Portsmouth Post 23 and Chillicothe Post 757 have already wrapped up league play at 5-1 apiece —and shared the SCOL championship.
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