CHILLICOTHE — The Waverly Post 142 Shockers got through what many coaches call the most difficult game of the season, the opening game of tournament play, as they defeated the Chillicothe Post 62 Riverbats, 4-3, Monday, July 18, 2016 at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.
The first victory is a crucial step all teams strive for as they hope to advance through an often tough American Legion Baseball tournament.
“It’s a nice team win,” Waverly Post 142 coach Jonathan Teeters said Monday afternoon after his Shockers picked up the one-run win over the Riverbats. “For the most part we battled at the plate and really made their pitcher work.”
Alex Powell maintained his unblemished record in the season, improving to 7-0, as the Shockers hurler pitched eight and one-third innings in the game allowing three runs, two of which were earned off six hits. Powell walked three batters in his performance against the Riverbats, while also striking out seven hitters in the win.
“Alex tossed a gem out there today,” Teeters said. “He’s something else. He falls out of bed and throws strikes.”
In the ninth inning, maintaining a one-run lead, Teeters brought in Zach Hayden to finish out the game. Hayden pitched the final two-thirds of an inning, to get the save. He walked one batter and struck out one as he closed the door on the Riverbats.
“Zach did a really nice job coming in and sealing it off for us,” Teeters said.
The Shockers took control of the game in the third inning, as they scored one run in the third inning, taking a one-run lead over the Riverbats, 1-0.
Post 62 would tied the game in the fourth inning as they scored a run in the fourth inning.
Post 142 would retake the lead in the fifth inning, as they drove in two runs in the bottom of the inning.
As the game entered unfamiliar territory for most teams in the regular season, the eighth inning, the Post 62 Riverbats attempted to cut into Post 142’s lead. The Riverbats managed to score one run in the top of the eighth inning to pull the game closer, cutting the Shockers’ lead to a single run, 3-2.
Teeters’ Shockers would get that run back though in their half of the eighth inning, scoring a single run to reclaim their two-run lead.
Once again, in the top of the ninth, the Chillicothe Post 62 Riverbats were able to score, however, they would ultimately fall short of the needed two runs, scoring only one.
After holding off the Riverbats in the ninth inning, the Shockers claimed their all-important first-round tournament win.
“We could have busted it open a few times but just didn’t,” Teeters said. “At this stage it’s survive and advance. We’ll be ready to get back to work on Wednesday.”
With the win, Waverly Post 142 will face-off against the winner of Circleville Post 134 and Chillicothe 757, Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, OH. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
The Shockers improve to 15-12 overall on the season.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.