Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

July 24, 2013

Post 76 stumbles in ninth inning

Ashland falls to Shelbyville after 15-run inning

ASHLAND — The best word to use to describe Ashland Post 76’s ninth inning on Tuesday night — nightmare.

After leading 6-3 heading into the ninth, the Sixers gave up 15 runs in the final frame as Shelbyville Post 37 won 18-6 in the winner’s bracket final of the Kentucky American Legion District 4 Tournament.

Shelbyville coach Jim Wiley said in his 31 years of coaching baseball, he’s never seen anything like that ninth inning.

“A ninth inning where we’re down and we score that many runs — I haven’t seen that before,” Wiley said. “I haven’t seen a game like that. And the thing is Ashland is a good team, a really good team”

After throwing eight strong innings, including a point where he sat down 11 straight batters, Post 76’s Seth Boyle returned to the mound in the ninth looking for a complete game win.

But Boyle struggled to get an out, and was finished after loading the bases. Aaron Elam took his place on the mound, but didn’t fare any better.

Shelbyville’s Zach Wiley hit a single to right field to score two runs. Elam then walked the next two batters in the inning, allowing the tying run to score.

The Sixers would give up the lead after another pitching change, as Robert Griffith replaced Elam. With the bases loaded he hit the first batter he faced to bring in the go-ahead run.

“I think being patient and disciplined at the plate paced that last inning,” Jim Wiley said. “They walked a few people and hit a few people and we started to relax and played better.”

Post 76 faced 10 batters before recording the first out. All nine members of the Shelbyville lineup scored at least once in the ninth.

After Griffith faced two batters, Post 76 sent Alex Jones and Jared Slone to the mound, but neither couldn’t stop the bleeding.

In the end, Shelbyville batted through the lineup twice, grabbing nine hits and having eight batters reach base by a walk or being hit by a pitch.

“It was never-ending,” Post 76 coach Mike Delaney said. “We just couldn’t seem to get out of the inning. Seth threw a wonderful game, we just stuck with him a little too long.”

Boyle had a good game at the plate for the Sixers, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Fellow Musketeers J.B. Brown had the other two RBIs while Ashland’s Logan Salow reached base four times at the leadoff spot and scored twice.

With the loss, Post 76 must play Latonia Post 203 in the loser’s bracket final today at 5 p.m. at Ashland’s Central Park. If the Sixers win, they punch their ticket to the Kentucky American Legion State Tournament in Campbellsville.

“We have to win,” Delaney said. “I think they will be pretty fired up to come back out after that ninth inning.”

Shelbyville has already earned a spot in the state tournament, as the top two teams from each district earn the right to go. Shelbyville will play the winner of Ashland-Latonia in the district championship game tonight at 8.

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