Post 27 bows out at state tournament
PLYMOUTH — After a 13-inning heartbreaker against Terre Haute Thursday night, the Diamond Spyders didn’t appear to have much left in the tank for Lafayette Post 11.
Plymouth Post 27’s defense committed six errors, and the team’s pitching staff — which it cobbled together from six different pitchers — gave up three runs off wild pitches and a balk and six walks with four hit batters in a 10-7 season-ending loss to Post 11 at the American Legion State Tournament Friday night at Bill Nixon Field.
The Spyders got off to a bumpy start with three errors for two unearned Lafayette runs in the top of the first. Post 27 tied it up at 2-all with runs in the first and second, then answered a Post 11 run in the top of the fifth to keep the score knotted at 3-3, but two walks and a pair of RBI doubles by Lafayette in the sixth gave the visitors the lead for good as they kept the pressure on with runs in each of the last five innings.
“They’re young kids; usually they come back pretty strong after a long night like last night,” said Plymouth manager Will Hostrawser. “But we’ve got guys that are playing other sports, they’re playing two-a-days in football and other stuff like that and that does make a difference too. I think they’re a pretty resilient bunch for the most part. But you know this is the state championship. You’re here with four other teams, and you’ve got to come to play. I just felt we didn’t have that push tonight as a unit. Last night I thought it was there; I thought we did a pretty good job despite losing, but tonight it just wasn’t there for whatever reason.”
Bremen graduate and Post 27 short stop Sean Knepper scored twice, leading off the first by taking a pitch in the back and scoring on a two-out single from Brody Andrews then lofting a two-run shot to left in the bottom of the sixth — following his game-tying two-run homer Friday which took the Spyders into extra innings — to keep the game close at 6-5. Nick Latham went 2-for-4 with two runs and a solo homer in the second to tie the game at 2-all, and Brock Anson was 4-for-5 with a run in the seventh as Post 27 plated two to cut Lafayette’s lead to 8-7.
In fact, Plymouth’s order came through with 12 hits to Post 11’s nine, but the Spyders couldn’t get the job done in the field or on the mound as Lafayette plated two runs on a balk and a wild pitch in the top of the seventh, another on a hit batter with the bases loaded in the eighth, and the game’s final run on a walk and three wild pitches in the ninth.
“I think we gave a total of five runs away tonight. We just didn’t really respond. I thought our kids competed; we just didn’t have it tonight,” said Hostrawser. “I give them credit. You’ve got to take advantage of those things when we give them to you, and they did and we didn’t.”
Wally Dickman took the loss on the mound relieving Clayton Adamson in the sixth and giving up three hits with two walks with a hit batter and a wild pitch for five runs in two innings. Parker Rhoads got the win for Post 11 coming in in the sixth and giving up two runs off two hits with seven strikeouts, two walks and two wild pitches while lasting four innings. He also gave the visitors a boost at the plate with four hits with two RBI, two doubles and a run, and he reached in all of his six at-bats.
Despite Friday’s disappointing loss, it was a solid season for Plymouth, which won more than 20 games en route to a sectional championship and will send five players to college programs next year.
“It’s always tough closing out that last game,” Hostrawser said. “As a whole this year, I think these kids really gave their all. It’s just tough at the end of the year.”
“I’m just disappointed,” he added. “It’s going to be tough watching two days of baseball and not being a part of it, but that goes along with hosting.”
The team bids goodbye to two of its bullpen’s best in Manchester pitcher Sean Liedtky and James Hackworth, who recently signed with Indiana State.
“Sean Liedtky is not going to be back. That’s a kid that’s a career leader in wins for us. As a pitcher and competitor, he’s a great kid,” said Hostrawser. “I believe Hackworth’s out too because of age. Those are two great pitchers that we’ve had three years, and they’ve been kind of the backbone of the team. I think we’ve had some pretty good pitchers in the past, but those two have been leaders the past two years if not three. They’re great kids. I’m anxious to see them go on to college and play.”
• LAFAYETTE POST 11 10,
PLYMOUTH POST 27 7
At American Legion State Baseball Tournament at Bill Nixon Field
Lafayette: 200 013 211 — 10 9 1
Plymouth: 110 012 200 — 7 12 6
James Hackworth, Clayton Adamson (5), Wally Dickman (6, L), Michael Holderread (8), Tyler Niespodziany (8), Tanner Andrews (9); Tanner Hieatt, Brandon Cebulla (5), Parker Rhoads (6, W)
2B: Rhoads (L) 3, Brian Bangs (L)
HR: Nick Latham (P), Sean Knepper (P)