PDT Sports Writer
WEST PORTSMOUTH — In the fourth year as a participant of the Gene Bennett Classic, Post 23 has claimed two wins.
Although the search for number three came up empty on two occasions Thursday, coach Jack Branon feels his ball club is showing the right signs.
“The thing that I liked is that these guys didn’t quit today,” Branon said. “I thought they battled all the way through both games, battled from first out to last out, they competed. If we can learn to compete against people like this, then eventually, we maybe start beating a few of them.”
Post 23 kicked off the 2013 Gene Bennett Classic Thursday with the first game of the day against the Ohio Warhawks at Branch Rickey Park. Despite collecting two hits in the first three innings, Post 23 was only able to get one runner to first — Brady Knittel in the fourth after he was hit by a pitch — and fell 6-0 to the Warhawks before Thursday’s early storm swept through the area and forced officials to call the game after five innings of play.
In the finale, Post 23 jumped out to an early 1-0 lead against the Huntington (WV) Hounds at West High School when Daulton Kenyon recorded the lone run for the team. The Hounds got to Post 23 starter Luke Morgan in their half of the first, tallying four runs and never looking back en route to an 11-1 win in six innings.
Just as in the first game, Post 23 was held to just two hits in the contest.
“We’re not hitting the ball,” Branon said. ” We had four hits in two games today so obviously, that’s where we need to start. We’ve just got to start hitting the ball, we’ve got to start putting some pressure on some people offensively and we’re not doing it.”
Branon commended the work of Morgan in the second game and Brady Johnson in the opener.
“I thought Brady and Luke both threw the ball decent,” Branon said. “I thought they made some good pitches. They’ve still got a ways to go but they made some good pitches.”
Post 23 will look to bounce back and look for its third all-time victory in this tournament Friday with another doubleheader. The day begins with a 9 a.m. first pitch against the Kentucky Baseball Club’s 17 Coffman team at Portsmouth High School’s Hatcher Field. Game two will be a 3 p.m. first pitch at Branch Rickey Park against the Kentucky Colonels.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
Post 23 000 00 — 0 2 2
Ohio Warhawks 210 21 — 6 9 1
Post 23 — Arnold 1-2, Knittel 0-1 (HBP), Brown 1-1.
Ohio Warhawks — Roberts 2-2 (2B, BB, RBI, 2 R), Delsi 1-3 (2B, 2 RBI), Vogelbach 1-3 (SB), LeBlanc 2-3 (2B, R), Herndon 1-3 (RBI), Yarnall 0-3 (R), Triolo 1-3 (SB, R), Young 0-0 (BB, R), Gergano 1-1 (2B, RBI).
W — Boster (n/a)
L — Johnson (0-2)
Records — Post 23 1-6; Ohio Warhawks n/a.
Post 23 100 000 — 1 2 2
Huntington (WV) Hounds 400 052 — 11 15 1
Post 23 — Carmichael 1-3, Kenyon 1-3 (R), Knittel 0-1 (HBP), Johnson 0-1 (HBP).
Huntington Hounds — Bird 2-3 (BB, 2B, RBI, 2 R), Lee 3-4 (3 SB, 3 RBI, 2 R), Bonnett 1-1 (2B, BB, RBI, 2 R), Kinker 3-3 (3 RBI, R), Harris 1-3, Wright 1-3 (RBI), Dawson 2-3 (2B, R), Haikal 0-1 (BB, R), Golden 2-3 (R), Wells 0-3 (R).
W — Hall (n/a)
L — Morgan (0-2)
Records — Post 23 1-7; Huntington Hounds n/a.