Playing 10 competitive innings through on-and-off drizzles of rain on Saturday, June 8, the Waverly Post 142 Senior Shockers ultimately suffered an 8-5 loss to the visitors from Marietta Post 64.
Although the outcome of the contest wasn’t what the Shockers wanted, it was a season highlight for another reason. The game was also an opportunity for the fans, players and coaching staff to connect and/or reconnect with Dylan Shockley, who threw out a ceremonial first pitch.
Shockley, a Shocker alumnus, was just drafted on Wednesday, June 5, in the 34th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Shockley was to report to Pittsburgh Monday to sign his contract before heading to rookie ball. Post 142 Head Coach Jonathan Teeters believes Shockley is the first player from the Waverly Legion program to get drafted.
Back to the game on the field, Waverly had plenty of opportunities to add additional runs, stranding 15 runners on base in all, while leaving the bases loaded twice — once in the first inning and again in the sixth. Post 64 left 12 batters stranded, loading the bases in the top of the second.
Defensively, Post 142 worked through a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first with starting pitcher Hunter Lahrmer recording his first strikeout. Then in the bottom of the first, the Shockers looked to capitalize on some early pitching struggles by Marietta. Weston Roop started with a one-out single before Connor Galloway and Derek Eblin drew back-to-back walks. A pop-up and a groundout followed, bringing the frame to a close.
Marietta did the same in the top of the second, leaving the bags loaded. A single down the third base line started the inning, followed by a sacrifice bunt. Then a hit batsman and a walk loaded the bases. The next two batters hit grounders. The first one went to Easton Lansing at first. He fired back to Parker Clemmons, the catcher, for the out at the plate. The next batter hit a grounder back to Lahrmer, who fired home to Clemmons to bring the inning to a close and strand three Marietta runners.
Cade McNeil came up with a leadoff single to start Post 142 in the bottom of the second. Easton Lansing followed with a well-placed bunt to move him to second. But McNeil was stranded there as a flyout and a groundout brought the inning to an end.
Marietta cracked the scoreboard with a run in the top of the third. A one-out drag bunt single from Hill created the first run. He stole second and later scored on a dribbling single up the middle from Jackson, 1-0.
A pair of two-out walks issued to Derek Eblin and Parker Clemmons gave Waverly a pair of base-runners in the bottom of the third. Lahrmer followed with a hard hit ball to the center field fence, but it was tracked down for the third out.
Defensively, the Shockers had a 1-2-3 inning again in the top of the fourth. Then they took the lead with a two-out rally in the home half. J.T. Barnett started it by drawing a two-out walk before Macky McDonald followed with an infield single. The two players moved up one base on a wild pitch before Weston Roop blasted a triple into the right field corner, pushing them both home, 2-1.
Post 64 brought the game back to a tie in the top of the fifth, using a two-out single to get a runner to base and a double to send him home, 2-2, against reliever Chase Carson. Post 142 made another pitching switch. Waverly’s Shane Vulgamore took the hill to record the final strikeout and leave runners stranded at the corners.
The next opportunity to take the lead for Post 142 came in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Shockers ultimately left the bases loaded. Cade McNeil doubled to right field and moved to third base on a bunt toward third by Lansing. Indecision allowed both runners to be safe on the play. Then Barnett drew a walk to fill the bases. But a strikeout and two grounders followed. Like Waverly, Marietta recorded the outs at home on those fielder’s choice plays, keeping the game tied at 2-2.
Marietta briefly took the lead in the top of the eighth inning. Jackson reached base via error to start the frame. He went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Then Vulgamore followed with a strikeout for the second out. A walk followed before an error and a single allowed a pair of runs to score, 4-2.
Waverly rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth after Barnett and McDonald drew back-to-back walks. Roop produced a single to plate Barnett. Later, Clemmons added another RBI by sending McDonald home on a fielder’s choice, 4-4, to keep the game going.
Post 64 took control for good in the top of the 10th, scoring four runs on a single, a bunt, two walks, one error and a big three-RBI triple from Jackson, 8-4.
McDonald led the bottom of the 10th inning off with a double, giving the Shockers a good start. Then Roop followed with a single. A strikeout and a fly ball followed for two quick outs. Then Clemmons singled. But he was caught too far off first and was caught in a rundown to bring the game to a close, 8-5.
“We had opportunity after opportunity to put the game away,” said Waverly coach Jonathan Teeters. “We just couldn’t seal up. We have to do a better job of executing.”
Roop led the Shockers from the plate by going 4-for-6 with a triple and four RBIs. McNeil was 2-for-4 with a double. McDonald finished 2-for-5 with a double and three runs. Clemmons was 1-for-4 with one RBI.
The Shockers are 2-1 overall. They were set to play Portsmouth Post 23 Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. This weekend they will head to Highland County to participate in the Hillsboro Wood Bat tournament. Friday’s game will be against the Troy Bombers at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the Shockers will face Findlay Post 3 at 12:30 p.m. followed by a 3 p.m. contest with Springfield. Then on Sunday, Waverly will play Chillicothe Post 757 at 12:30 p.m. The tournament’s championship game is set for 3 p.m.