LANCASTER — Sidney Post 217 came from behind twice to tie the game up, then plated three runs in the top of the ninth to break the tie and come away with a 5-2 victory over Coshocton in the State American Legion Baseball Tournament in Lancaster.
The win puts Sidney, now 36-18, in the loser’s bracket finals Saturday. They will play Circleville, but as of press time it wasn’t clear what time the game would be. It will be at either 10 a.m. or 1 p.m, depending on the outcome of the Circleville-Toledo game Friday night.
“It’s unusual the way they set it up, but if you’re matched up against a team you already played, then you play somebody else. And we already played Toledo,” said Sidney coach Jim Koewler. “But it’s like I told the kids, I don’t make the rules, and we have to be ready to go.”
On Friday, Post 217 fell behind 1-0 after giving up an unearned run to Coshocton in the bottom of the first, but in the top of the third, Kyle Subler’s RBI single tied it up. It would be the first of four straight singles by Subler in the game.
Coshocton came back in the bottom of the inning and retook the lead on an RBI single by Kiner for a 2-1 lead.
It stayed that way until the sixth inning, when Sidney’s Brett McEldowney singled home the tying run. And that would set the stage for the ninth inning.
Sidney dodged a bullet in the bottom of the eighth when Coshocton loaded the bases. The inning opened with a strikeout, but that was followed by two singles. Jackson Hobbs, who pitched well all afternoon, got the next batter to ground back to him, but then hit the next batter to load the bases. But he got the final out of the inning on a pop-up.
In the top of the ninth, Sidney mounted a scoring threat that would bring home the victory, and Hobbs helped his own cause in a big way when he just missed a home run leading off the inning. It bounced off the fence and went for a double.
Dakota Bollinger then singled hard to center, with Hobbs stopping at third, but after a ground out back to the mound, Austin McLain singled in the go-ahead run to make it 3-2. Drew Wehrman then singled to left to drive in Bollinger, and Subler then singled in McLain.
“I was feeling good when we got that first run because I had Cam Clark warming up and he throws hard,” said Koewler of his closer. “Then when we added two more runs, I really felt good.”
Clark got the save, but not without a little trouble. He struck out the first hitter but then hit the next one. A fielder’s choice got the second out, but the next hitter walked before Clark got a pop-up to McLain at second to end the game.
Subler had a huge day for Post 217, finishing with four hits and two RBIs. Daniel Berning and McLain added two hits apiece. On the day, Sidney had 13 hits.
Hobbs came through with a gem of an effort on the mound for Post 217. He pitched the first eight and scattered eight hits while striking out six.
“Jackson did a great job,” said Koewler of Hobbs. “We got ourselves out of a couple of fixes with some good defensive plays. And we had the bats going again. I told Jake (assistant coach Jake Lochard) that I was hoping we didn’t use all our hits up Thursday (14 in a 13-5 win). But the kids came out swinging again.”
Post 217`001 001 003`5`13`2
Post 65`011 000 000`2`8`3
WP: Hobbs; LP: McPeak; S: Clark