By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — After a raucous start to the Miami Valley Veterans Appreciation Tournament on Friday night, the Troy Post 43 Legends found the rest of the weekend a struggle.
After a 22-5 shelling at the hands of the Columbus Braves Saturday afternoon, the Legends dropped a pair of games to finish the weekend tournament at Duke Park, falling in a 12-0 run-rule to Hillsboro Legion late Saturday night and then being handed an 11-3 loss by Greenville Post 140 Sunday afternoon to finish the weekend 2-3.
After two solid efforts by the Legends (4-9-1) on Friday to begin the tournament with two straight wins, the Columbus Braves set the tone early for the rest of the weekend.
“The first guy walked, and the next guy hit the first pitch for a home run. And it was all downhill from there,” Troy Post 43 coach Frosty Brown. “In that game, we made six errors and couldn’t get out of an inning. I didn’t know if there was a way to get out of the inning, it was that bad.”
Against Hillsboro, the Legends only managed four hits on the day, with Austin Kendall, Brandon Wilson, Ian Yunker and Ian Gengler each collecting a hit.
The Legends had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the first after a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice put runners on second and third with two outs, but Hillsboro pitcher Gavin Taulbee induced a groundout to end the threat. Following that, Hillsboro took over with four runs in the top of the second, as Evan Ball hit an RBI double, Zach Mitchell and Payton Bell each hit RBI singles and Drew Pitzer drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. From there, Hillsboro made it 5-0 after three innings, 7-0 after four and ended the game early with a five-run fifth inning.
Taulbee struck out three and walked two in the five-inning shutout. And offensively, Pitzer was 2 for 3 with a triple and three RBIs, Mitchell was 3 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs and Bell, Ball, Dominic Kerns and John Salyers each drove in a run, with Kerns and Salyers both doubling.
After pitching a scoreless first inning, Darius Boeke didn’t record out out in the second, giving up four runs on five hits with one strikeout in one inning of work. Zach Seagraves gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in two innings, and Kendall gave up five runs on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts in two innings.
That left one matchup to finish the weekend against a league rival, Greenville Post 140, which the Legends held a 3-2 lead in in the middle of the fourth. But that’s when things unraveled.
“We gave up 34 runs in two games Saturday, and Sunday was just as bad,” Brown said. “I started Ben Spangler, and he pitched pretty well, held them for about four innings or so. I didn’t want him to go through the lineup a third time, though. We walked the No. 8 hitter and give up an infield hit to the nine-hitter. I had a pitcher ready, but I thought lets’s try to get out of this inning. But that was a mistake, as the leadoff hitter hit a triple and two runs came in. We were ahead 3-2, then they go ahead 4-3. And after that, it was just seven more runs.”
Spangler lasted 3 2-3 innings, giving up five runs — only two earned — on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Noah Brown went 1 1-3 innings, giving up one run on two hits, then Francis gave up five runs, three earned, on one hit and five walks without recording an out. Kyle Evans finished the game, striking out two in one scoreless inning.
Offensively, Andy Wargo was 2 for 4 with an RBI, Brandon Wilson had an RBI and Kendall doubled as the Legends were outhit 8-7 in the game, with Post 140 taking advantage of four errors.
For Greenville, Trent Collins — who also homered on Saturday — hit a solo shot and finished 1 for 3 with an RBI, Casey Jones was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, Zac Longfellow tripled and drove in two runs and Darrin Hays drove in a run.
Collins and Tyler Beyke also combined on the pitching effort, with Collins giving up two runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in three innings of work and Beyke allowing only one run on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts in four innings.
Troy Post 43 is off until Wednesday when it hosts Van Wert Legion.
“I don’t know what to do,” Brown said. “I’m trying to find an answer, and I don’t know what it is.I can’t seem to make the right choices on when the relievers should come in. It’s one batter — sometimes one pitch — too many. We don’t have much margin for mistakes.
“We’re taking Monday off to lick our wounds, then we’re going to hit Tuesday night because we’re playing Van Wert on Wednesday, and they’re maybe the strongest team we play.”
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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