One unearned run was the difference in Tuesday night’s contest between the Waverly Post 142 Senior Shockers and the visiting Portsmouth Post 23 baseball team.
Post 142 ultimately lost the game 1-0 on an unearned run that scored in the top of the fourth inning. Marty Knittel, the winning pitcher for Post 23, reached base with one out to start the top of the fourth. Nathan McCormick followed with a bunt, reaching base safely on an error. Brice Robinette, serving as a courtesy runner for Knittel, went to third on the play. He later scored on a passed ball, and as it turned out, created the game’s only run.
The contest was a pitching duel between Knittel, who just finished his freshman season for Shawnee State, and the Post 142 duo of starter Tanner Cunningham, a recent Valley graduate, and Derek Eblin, who just finished his sophomore season at Waverly.
For Post 142, Cunningham went four innings and suffered the hard luck loss. He gave up just two hits, while striking out four and walking three. Eblin gave up one hit and struck out four in three innings of relief.
Knittel was efficient, throwing 77 pitches in the complete-game victory. He gave up just five hits and struck out four batters. Waverly’s hits against him were scattered throughout the game.
Kannon Pack had a two-out single in the bottom of the first inning. Cunningham had a two-out single in the bottom of the second, but he was picked off to end the inning. Scott Lightle produced a one-out single in the bottom of the third, but he was later caught stealing second for third out of the frame.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, back-to-back hits came from Tucker Tackett and Eblin, creating hope for the Shockers. But a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop ended the game.
“We faced a quality pitcher this evening, and we’ll be better from it,” said Waverly coach Jonathan Teeters. “That’s what Legion baseball is about — facing better competition and becoming a better player from it.”
From the plate for Post 142, Cunningham and Lightle finished 1-for-2, while Pack, Tackett and Eblin went 1-for-3. For Post 23, Knittel was 2-for-3, while Seth Nichols was 1-for-3.
Prior to the game, Bobby Dixon had the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
“We certainly appreciate Bobby Dixon and Dixon Jewelers,” said Teeters. “Mr. Dixon has supported our program for the last decade. We are very appreciative of his continued support.”
The Senior Shockers dropped to 2-2 with the loss and 0-1 in the South Central Ohio League.
Both Post 142 and Post 23 will head to Highland County to participate in the Hillsboro Wood Bat tournament this weekend. Friday’s game for Waverly 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.