Post 86 nips Post 10

TORONTO – Both teams made mistakes, but in the end Toronto was able to capitalize on multiple Weirton errors to earn the victory.

Post 86 plated five runs in the bottom of the second inning, and was able to hold on for a 5-4 victory over Post 10 Saturday night at the Knight Baseball Complex.

“We played well,” Toronto (5-13) head coach Steve Sninchak said. “Hank (Clegg) pitched well. He showed a lot of composure for a 15 year-old. He got into some jams, but he was able to get of them. He was able to get some fly balls when he needed to. He was able to get some outs when he needed to. He did an outstanding job.

“We swung the bats well. We played well. They are a good-hitting team.”

Post 10 (4-3) committed three errors, and none were mostly costly than the one committed in the second inning. The error resulted in two runs being scored on the play, and it enabled Post 86 to plate what turned out to be a much-needed insurance run.

“We had a mind lapse and that resulted in that one big inning,” Weirton head coach Bill Magnone said. “In baseball, you can’t give up that big inning.

“Clegg threw a heck of a game for them. He kept us off-balance, especially early.”

Clegg struck out six and walked four en route to recording the victory.

Tory Fuscardo pitched well, but he took the loss for Weirton. Fuscardo struck out 10, while walking two. He also hit a batter.

After a scoreless first inning, Post 86 broke through for its five-run second stanza.

Billy Solomon singled to start the inning, and he moved up when the ball got away from Larch in left field. After a strikeout, Zach Barnes doubled to plate Solomon giving Toronto a 1-0 advantage.

After another strikeout, Clegg walked and Sam Pinkerton reached on an infield single to load the bases. Next, John Romey drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Barnes to increase the hosts lead to 2-0. Then, Jay Lane followed with a bouncing ball up the middle, but the ball bounced off the fielder’s chest allowing Clegg and Pinkerton to score making it 4-0.

Owens followed with a double off of the fence in left field to score Barnes to increase Toronto’s advantage to 5-0. Fuscardo was able to get out of the inning by striking out Jarin McIntosh.

“We were able to get some back-to-back hits,” Sninchak said. “We had some walks. We were able to take advantage of a couple of walks.”

Post 86 maintained its five-run advantage heading into the top of the fourth, where Weirton was able to plate a pair of runs to cut its deficit to 5-2.

William Larch got the ball rolling with a triple, and Matt Cessna scored Larch with a single to make the score 5-1. Later, Kyle Woodruff singled home Cessna to pull Post 10 to within 5-2.

Weirton kept the momentum on its side in the fifth as the visitors plated two more runs to pull within 5-4.

Heath Hildreth doubled to start the inning, and Larch followed with a walk. A double steal moved the runners up, and Cessna plated Hildreth with a sacrifice fly to center making the score 5-3.

Next, Trey Smith singled to score Larch.

Weirton left multiple runners on base during the game.

“We have come up short in getting clutch hits all season,” Magnone said. “We were able to get a few late.”

Toronto had issues on the basepaths.

In the fourth, Clegg was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and Pinkerton followed with a base hit. Clegg ended up third and Pinkerton on second when the throw to first base on Pinkerton’s hit ended up alluding Cessna at first.

Post 86 appeared to be on the verge of breaking the game open, but Clegg was tagged out in a rundown following a flyout to center. Both runners attempted to move up on the play, but Clegg retreated to third as Pinkerton was heading to third. Pinkerton managed to get back to second safely, but Clegg was tagged out at third. Then, Pinkerton was picked off to end the inning.

“Tory threw well,” Magnone said. “In the one inning he got behind hitters. When he was ahead in the counts, he did a heck of a job.”

Post 86 will host Tuscarawas County in a 1 p.m. doubleheader today. Weirton will return to action at 6 p.m. Monday against Richmond at Bowman Field.

“I haven’t seen them, but they’re good,” Sninchak said about the Panthers. “Tusky County is always tough.

“We played well tonight. We played really well. We have played well for the last two weeks.”