By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
OXFORD — The 2019 season was a rollercoaster ride for the Troy Post 43 Legends American Legion baseball team.
But after a heartbreaking loss in last week’s regional tournament, the team still was able to finish the season with things looking up.
Troy Post 43 finished the season in the Miami University Summer Showcase on Saturday and Sunday, winning a pair of games to claim the tournament championship and finish with the year a 31-20-1 record.
“This season has been an amazing turnaround,” Troy Post 43 coach Frosty Brown said. “We got off to a 1-6 start, and many teams might have folded then, or even when we were 9-12. It says a lot about the kind of competitors these people are. They are real baseball players.
“We knew we had to stabilize the pitching staff, and we had to start making contact in big moments — and we changed things after the Fourth of July, winning 21 of our last 25, including four invitational tournaments.”
Troy began the weekend with an 11-4 rout over the Cleveland Wolfpack on Saturday. Ian Yunker got the win on the mound, striking out seven and walking three while allowing four runs on five hits. He got plenty of support, too, as Noah Brown was 3 for 3 with a triple and two RBIs, Austin Kendall was 2 for 2 with two doubles and three RBIs, Andy Wargo was 2 for 3 with a triple, Warren Hartzell was 3 for 3 with an RBI, Noah Krause was 2 for 2 and Jonny Baileys drove in a run.
And on Sunday, Post 43 took on the Ohio Torque in the championship game, winning 7-2.
Hartzell, a freshman, got the win on the mound, striking out seven, walking three and allowing two runs on four hits in five innings of work. Brandon Wilson worked the final two innings, striking out two and allowing two hits. The defense also played strong, as the team got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first inning, with Austin Kendall and Brandon Wilson both throwing out runners at the plate on grounders to keep the game scoreless early.
Offensively, Andy Wargo was 3 for 4 with an RBI, Baileys doubled and had two RBIs, Kendall added two RBIs and Wilson and Yunker each drove in a run.
The team concluded its 52nd season, with Brown completing his 48th year as the team’s coach. And though the team loses a host of veteran players, the Legends are already looking forward to 2020.
“We are graduating seven players: Brandon Wilson, Noah Brown, Austin Kendall, Ian Yunker, Jacob Francis, Ian Gengler and J.R. Young. All of them contributed both on the field and with positive leadership,” Brown said. “This team ranks as one that had the best July in the program’s history.
“We also have a lot to look forward to in 2020. Our junior legion team won the 2019 Ohio Junior Legion State Tournament, and when we add those players to our returnees, things look good on paper.”
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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