By Josh Brown
TROY — Troy Post 43 is on a roll.
The timing couldn’t be better, either.
Troy won its fourth and fifth consecutive games Wednesday night, sweeping a doubleheader against the Springfield Titans 3-2 and 5-1 on the road. And after a night off on Thursday, Post 43 will return to Duke Park Friday through Sunday for arguable its biggest weekend of every season and a Troy summer tradition — the 25th annual Post 43 Miami Valley Veterans Appreciation Tournament.
“Traveling to Springfield, the goal was to make sure the pitching rotation would be set for this Friday’s Veterans Appreciation Tournament,” Troy Post 43 coach Frosty Brown said. “Our Veterans Tournament is a real challenge because it has 10 very good teams in it and there is the potential of playing six games in three days.
“The second goal was to make sure everyone saw quality action. It’s true of all teams — everyone deserves an opportunity to play, and non-league doubleheaders are the time to do it.”
Troy Post 43 (8-3) began its recent winning streak June 3 with a win over Greenville Legion, then it built more momentum with come-from-behind wins over the Miami Valley Prospects and Piqua Legion on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. And Wednesday night, Post 43 defeated the Titans twice without the need to come from behind.
In fact, Troy did all of its scoring in the opener in the top of the first inning. Hunter Cohee hit a two-run triple and then scored on an RBI groundout by Kieran Williams to spot Post 43 a 3-0 lead, and Troy only scattered four hits offensively the rest of the way.
Its pitching staff did its job, though, holding Springfield to only four hits and leaving seven Titans stranded on base. Starter Dylan Hensley pitched three scoreless innings, then winning pitcher Dalton Lee came on in the fourth and gave up only one unearned run. Freshman Ian Yunker took over in the sixth and closed the door for his second save of the year.
“We are a work in progress, and we see numerous things we need to improve on if we are to continue to win the close games,” Brown said. “Our bunting and baserunning hurt us at times in this game.”
Post 43 got another quality game from its pitching staff in the second game as four pitchers — Logan Donovan, Jacob Coleman, Perry Casto and Noah Roswell — combined on a two-hitter, with Casto earning the win.
With the score tied 1-1 after four innings, Troy finally took over for good in the sixth. After loading the bases with no outs, Cory Cotrell drove a two-run single into center to give Post 43 a 3-1 lead, then Michael Hale drove in two more insurance runs with another single to make it a four-run game.
“I think potentially we have the ability to put innings like that together more often,” Brown said. “We are still transitioning from high school hitting to facing more college guys. The Titans have seven college players and no underclassmen, so right now our sophomores are still adjusting.”
Everyone will get plenty of chances to adjust this weekend.
The Circleville Panthers and Greenville Legion will kick off the tournament at 9 a.m. Friday at Duke Park’s Legion Field, with games following at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on both the Legion Field and the Teener Field. Then at 7 p.m, Post 43 will kick off the first of its two Friday games, facing the Miamisburg Canes before a 9:30 p.m. rematch against the Springfield Titans.
The schedule follows the same pattern Saturday, with games all day beginning at 9 a.m., then Troy closing out the night by facing Hillsboro Legion at 7 p.m. and the Columbus Braves — last year’s tournament champion — at 9:30 p.m. And on Sunday, games will be held at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. before Troy Post 43 takes on the Circleville Panthers at 3 p.m. in the final game before the championship — which will be played at 5:30 p.m. on Legion Field.
Last year, Troy Post 43 took on the Braves in the championship game, but Columbus scored the eventual game-winning run in the top of the seventh and closed out a 3-2 victory.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.