CHILLICOTHE — Simply put, it was one to get even —and another emphatic one to advance.
That’s because, on Monday afternoon and evening, the Waverly Post 142 Juniors American Legion Baseball team took two Region V championship games from host Chillicothe 757 —and captured the Juniors division title to advance to this week’s state tournament.
Needing to win TWO games in order to extend their season and advance to state, the visiting Shockers —at Chillicothe’s Hoffman Field —snuck by the host Colts 7-5 in the opener, before jolting the Colts to the tune of 23-4 in the second championship bout.
That second affair, in fact, was called following five innings with the 10-run mercy rule —as it sent the Shockers stateward bound, to Lancaster’s beautiful Beavers Field beginning on Thursday.
“We had to win both games in order to advance. This is a very special group of boys and I am very proud of how we started to gel together near the end and fought back in our Region V Tournament to win it all,” said Shockers Jrs. coach Trey Clemmons. “Everyone did their job and the hard work paid off.”
In the opener on Monday, the Shockers scored two third-inning runs —but fell behind 5-2 when the Colts immediately answered in the bottom of the third.
All five Chillicothe runs were unearned, but Waverly wasn’t deterred —and instead scored four fourth-frame markers for its 6-5 advantage, followed by a single counter in the top of the sixth.
While both teams only had four hits apiece in game one, Chillicothe committed three errors to the Shockers’ two —as the Colts’ pitching gave up six walks compared to the Shockers’ five.
Chillicothe struck out eight times to the Shockers’ seven, and stranded eight runners on base compared to Waverly’s three.
Carter Nickel of Valley scored two of the Shockers’ seven runs.
In the nightcap, while the Colts chalked up single points in innings one, three, four and five —the Shockers simply exploded with five runs in the second, four in the third, and seven apiece in the fourth and fifth frames for the 23-4 runaway win.
Post 142 outhit the Colts 13-3, as Chillicothe committed four errors to the Shockers’ two.
The Colts went through a half-dozen hurlers in game two, as only half (11) of Waverly’s 23 runs were even earned.
Horn scored four runs and drove in five to lead the Shockers’ offensive onslaught, as Jase Hurd hammered home four runs and Nickel another three.
Four others added two ribbys apiece, as Valley’s Hunter Edwards amassed a team-high three hits, including a double.
Horn, Hurd and Nickel notched two hits apiece, with Hurd and Valley’s Christopher Queen conking the club’s other two two-baggers.
In addition to the 22 RBIs for 23 runs and a baker’s dozen in hits, the Shockers drew a dozen walks —and Hurd was hit by a pitch.
Hurd pitched the final inning in relief of Queen and allowed one of the Colts’ three hits, as Queen clamped Chillicothe down in the opening four innings — and gave up two earned runs on two hits with four walks.
Both Waverly pitchers struck out one Colt.
Waverly will play at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Juniors Legion Baseball state tournament —against the winner of Granville Post 140 and Utica Post 92.
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