Hepler powers Diamond Spyders in rebound win over Logansport
PLYMOUTH — The American Legion Post 27 Diamond Spyders held off a late-inning rally by Logansport Post 60 to come away with an 8-6 win at Bill Nixon Field Tuesday.
Shay Hepler was the star of the night, going 3-for-5 with a double, solo homer and a team-leading four RBIs to power his team to the win.
“Shay has played extremely well for us this year,” said Post 27 manager Mike Hite. “I know we are only five games in, but we are very, very happy with him at the plate and out in the field and his attitude, just everything about him. He’s a baseball player, and we are very, very happy to see him play well.”
Tanner Hampton knocked in the first run of the night with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning, and nobody was able to do any more damage until the bottom of the fourth inning.
With a man on first and second, Wes Burkholder singled into center, bringing a run home for the Spyders. Then with two outs and runners on second and third, Hepler picked up his first two RBIs with a single into right field.
Down 4-0 in the top of the fifth, Post 60 came alive, hitting three doubles for three runs. The Spyders would add one more in the bottom of the fifth on a solo blast by Tanner Hampton, which he pulled over the 342’ mark in left centerfield to push the score back out to 5-3.
The Spyders added one more run in each of the next two innings to take a 7-3 lead into the top of the eighth.
Logansport tried to rally back in the eighth, tallying four hits in the inning, but the visitors were only able to manufacture three runs, cutting the Diamond Spyders’ lead down to one.
Just for a little extra insurance, Hepler launched a homer over the right field fence in the bottom of the eighth to cap off the scoring for the game.
The Spyders moved to 3-2 bouncing back from a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Highland on Sunday, and Hite was pleased with his team’s defense after that substandard performance against Post 180.
“I thought tonight our defense was extremely better than Sunday. We got into a little trouble in the later innings with a couple of errors, but we were able to stick it out,” he said.
Post 27 enters the Terre Haute Post 346 Tournament Thursday and will play five games before returning from the road trip with a game at Mishawaka Post 161 next Monday. The Diamond Spyders follow up with another game against Mishawaka at home at Bill Nixon Field next Thursday.
“A lot of players are playing out of position right now. What we are trying to do right now, especially in a legion season where we don’t have a conference to worry about, is to find out who can play where,” explained Hite. “We are especially interested since we are not familiar with all of the players at this time. We are trying to see who can do what and who can play where and who is going to come through for us. I think the kids understand that, and we have a long way to go. We were fortunate to get the win tonight.”
• POST 27 8, LOGANSPORT 6
Logansport: 000 030 030 — 6 11 0
Plymouth: 100 311 11x — 8 16 2
WP: Jacob Frantz, Sv:Tyler LaFollette
2B: Jason Ferguson (P), Shay Hepler (P), Tyler LaFollette (P), #10 (L), Clayton Fry (L), Chris Jones (L), Marcos Reecord (L)
HR: Tanner Hampton (P), Shay Hepler (P)