With runs at a premium in Thursday’s Independence Day baseball game, the Waverly American Legion Post 142 Senior Shockers gave themselves an early cushion, securing a 3-1 win over the visiting Chillicothe Post 757 Colts.
Waverly’s starting pitcher, Tanner Cunningham, was able to keep the Colts off balance for five innings. During that stretch, Cunningham gave up one run (unearned) on four hits, while striking out five and walking five. Then Kannon Pack closed the final two innings without surrendering a hit, striking out two batters and walking one.
“Tanner was very good on the hill,” said Waverly coach Jonathan Teeters. “He answered the bell and was very tough to hit.”
Cunningham’s teammates also gave him a nice cushion, taking advantage of opportunities to score early in the contest. Shortstop Ian Gillen led off with a single for Post 142 in the bottom of the first inning. Pack was the next base-runner, drawing a one-out walk. Gillen took third on a wild pitch before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Derek Eblin, 1-0. Pack, who was held up at second base when Gillen scored, was able to take advantage of a bad pickoff attempt and head home, 2-0. A fly ball to left field from Cade Powell brought the inning to a close.
Gillen was able to score again in the third inning, working a leadoff walk. Tucker Tackett followed with a single before Pack used a sacrifice to push Gillen and Tackett into scoring position. Gillen used his speed to score on a wild pitch, making the lead 3-0 with Eblin at bat. Eblin drew a walk, but Powell grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Colts generated their lone run in the top of the fourth inning, using an error and a double to get on the scoreboard, 3-1. They threatened again in the sixth inning, getting two runners aboard on walks. That was when Pack entered in relief of Cunningham and was able to record three straight outs to remove Post 142 from the jam.
From the plate, Tackett and Parker Clemmons each went 2-for-3 to lead the way. Gillen finished 1-for-1 with a pair of runs, drawing two walks. Macky McDonald was 1-for-2. Eblin had the lone RBI on a sacrifice fly.
With their fourth win in a row, the Senior Shockers improved to 12-6 overall and 2-1 in South Central Ohio League play. They were scheduled to host Hillsboro Post 129 on Saturday at 11 a.m. for the annual Veterans Appreciation game. The contest will be played at Waverly High School instead of Piketon.