Entering the 23-team American Legion Baseball Junior State Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Beavers Field in Lancaster, the Waverly Post 142 Junior Shockers suffered a close 3-2 loss to Portsmouth Post 23.
The Junior Shockers plated both of their runs to start the game in the top of the first inning. Ben Flanders started with a one-out single before Easton Lansing drew a walk. Both runners moved up a base on a passed ball. Then Flanders scored when Chase Carson grounded out to second base. Lansing was able to score on a wild pitch before Sam Crace grounded out to bring the half-inning to a close.
Portsmouth used a pair of doubles to generate a run in the bottom of the second inning, cutting the lead in half, 2-1. Then Post 23 tied it up in the bottom of the third, as a walk and an error allowed Portsmouth to score, 2-2.
Both teams continued to get runners to base throughout the game, but neither could cash in initially. Portsmouth broke through in the bottom of the sixth, using an error, a sacrifice bunt, a groundout and a single to plate the go-ahead run, 3-2.
Waverly’s batters went down in order in the top of the seventh inning, bringing the game to an end. It also brings the Junior Shockers’ 2019 season to a close. Some of the Junior Shockers could appear on the Senior Shockers roster throughout the remainder of their season.
With the win, Portsmouth advanced in the state tournament to meet Sidney Post 217 Red on Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m.
For Waverly, Flanders finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run. Riley Thompson and Kydan Potts each went 2-for-3 as well. Roger Woodruff was 1-for-2, while Carson was 1-for-3.
Starting pitcher Mason Ratcliff was charged with the loss. In 5-2/3 innings, he gave up three runs (only one earned) on six hits, while striking out three and walking four. Woodruff pitched the final 1/3, using three pitches to get a groundout.