PDT Sports Contributor
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Before the American Legion Region V Tournament kicked off at VA Memorial Stadium Monday afternoon, many people believed that the bracket could be won by any of the five teams participating in it.
That belief held true to form throughout the first day of the tournament as exciting action ruled the day.
The Waverly Post 142 Shockers could not muster a victory against Yeager Post 199 as Post 142 fell by a score of 9-5 in a first-round matchup at the VA on Monday afternoon.
Post 142 coach Jonathan Teeters was pleased with his team’s effort, but said that the Shockers made too many physical and mental errors that cost them in the end. However, Teeters was pleased with Brady Knittel’s effort on the mound, as the West High School standout approached triple digits in his pitch count but kept the game within reach for Post 142.
“Brady’s a competitor for us,” Teeters said. “He threw close to 100 pitches for us and gave it all he had out there, but we kind of beat ourselves by dropping fly balls and not fielding the ball cleanly.”
Both teams started the ballgame by going scoreless through the first two innings before the Shockers struck with a run in the top half of the third inning. A fielding error by Yeager’s Zack Vorherr and a throwing error by Post 199’s Matt Bass allowed Zack Jordan and Sky Oliver to move to third and first, respectively, with nobody out in the inning.
The next batter up, Garrett Carmichael, proceeded to drive in Jordan with a single into straightaway center field to record the first hit of the contest for the Shockers while also putting Post 142 out in front by a 1-0 tally early on in the contest.
However, Post 199 struck back with a major punch in the bottom half of the fourth as Yeager put up four runs in the frame and batted around.
The first pitch of the inning by Post 142’s Brady Knittel hit Greg Cappel, which allowed the first baseman to reach. Cappel was then brought home after Tyler Harley hit a triple that sailed all the way to the outfield fence. An errant throw by Garrett Carmichael to first then allowed Harley to score, and also allowed Mitch Asmen to reach first base.
Ceejay Henson and Nick Brems then reached on a base knock and a hit by pitch, and then Asmen and Henson would be brought in on a Jake Collinsworth double to put Yeager up by a 4-1 tally after four innings of play.
Post 142 answered back with three runs of its own in the top half of the fifth after a pair of base knocks by Carmichael and Pierce Knisley. Knittel drove in Carmichael, who led off the inning with a base knock, and Dylan Shockley drove in Knisley via a sac fly while Knittel moved over to third base. A double by Nathan Parks drove in Knittel and capped off the three run inning as the Shockers tied the contest up at 4 apiece.
Post 199 answered right back with two runs each in the bottom half of the fifth and sixth innings as Yeager proceeded to open up the game.
Cappel and Harley started out the bottom half of the fifth for Yeager with two base hits and were sacrificed over to second and third as Asmen laid down a bunt right back to the mound.
Henson then hit a ball straight to Zach Jordan, the second baseman, who fired to home plate instead of firing to first base, and Cappel, who was running all the way, slid in before the tag could be applied. Jarod Drewes then hit a sacrifice fly to score Harley, which gave Post 199 a 6-4 edge over Post 142.
Yeager then added two insurance runs in the bottom half of the sixth as Collinsworth reached base on a dropped ball by Jordan and advanced to second base on a single by Cappel. Harley then drove in another run by recording his third hit of the contest and his second single. Asmen then drove Cappel in from second base with his own hit.
Over the remaining three frames, each team would trade runs as Post 199’s Matt Baas singled home Brems, the leadoff hitter, in the bottom half of the seventh. Waverly Post 142 answered as Zach Russell hit into a 5-3 groundout but brought home Nathan Parks in the process of doing so.
After retiring Yeager in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom half of the eighth, the Shockers looked to do some damage in the top half of the ninth with the top of the order coming to the plate. However, Brady Knittel’s double was the only hit that Post 142 could muster in the top half of the ninth as Post 199 took home the 9-5 victory.
With the loss, Waverly Post 142 will be forced to work its way out of the loser’s bracket for the rest of the tournament. The third-seeded Shockers will play No. 5 seedHillsboro Post 129 at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday. The winner of that contest will play the loser of the Circleville Post 134/Chillicothe Post 757 contest that was being played as of press time.
As for Post 129, Teeters says that the Shockers have played well against Hillsboro in previous meetings. That is no more evident as it was on July 6th when Post 142 played and swept Post 129 in a doubleheader by tallies of 9-3 and 15-1.
“We’ve played well against them all year,” Teeters said. “They’ve saved their ace (for this game) and we’ll be expecting him on the mound tomorrow, but I like our odds.”
Post 142 001 030 010 – 5 10 3
Post 199 000 422 100 – 9 12 1
Post 142 – Carmichael 2-5 (RBI, R), Knisley 1-3 (BB, SAC, R), Knittel 2-5 (2 2B, RBI, R), Shockley 0-4 (SAC, RBI), Parks 3-5 (2B, RBI, HBP, R), Nartker 1-4 (2B), Jordan 1-3 (R), Russell 0-1 (RBI), Oliver 1-4.
Post 199 – Brems 1-3 (BB, SB, HBP, R), Collinsworth 1-4 (BB, 2B, 2 RBI, R), Baas 2-5 (RBI), Cappel 2-4 (HBP, 3 R), Harley 3-5 (3B, 2 RBI, 2 R), Asmen 1-4 (SAC, RBI, R), Henson 3-4 (RBI, R), Drewes 1-2 (2 SAC, RBI).
W – Essell
L – Knittel
Records – Post 142 20-8, Post 199 N/A.