July 19, 2011
Post 465 rolls on at districts
BINGHAMTON — Unleashing 10 extra-base hits as part of a 22-hit attack, Homer Post 465 rolled to a 20-2 seven-inning mercy rule baseball victory over Binghamton Post 80 to stay alive in the American Legion District 6 Tournament Monday.
Post 465 will meet Vestal Post 89 in an elimination game this afternoon at four o’clock back at Conlon Field.
“Our bats came alive today and I hope they stay that way tomorrow,” Homer coach Mike DiMattei said. “When you start running out of pitching you need your bats to produce. They certainly did that today. It was great to see us hit the ball with so much authority.”
Kevin McNeil homered and drove in three runs for Post 465 while going 3-for-6, and Ben Smith smacked a three-run homer. Ben Langey was a perfect 4-for-4 with a double and triple, crossing the plate four times. Ethan Forster (2x4) and Zephan Kash (3x5) each drove in three runs, while Brandon Watkins (2x5) picked up a pair of RBIs in the romp.
“This was definitely our best overall game of the year,” Coach DiMattei added. “We only had one error and that came late in the seventh inning. We hit the ball, played great defense and pitched well. Tomorrow is going to be another test and I hope these guys are up to the challenge. They played really well and should be happy with their performance, but we can’t celebrate too much because we still have a lot of baseball to play to even be in the position to win districts.”
Homer started the scoring in the top of the first when McNeil singled and scored on an single from Watkins. Post 465 struck for five runs in the top of the second that was highlighted by a two-run double off Forster’s bat and a two-run home run from McNeil.
Homer bumped its advantage to 8-0 with two runs in the fourth. Another Forster double scored Langey, and a Zephan Kash single plated Forster.
Homer made it 12 unanswered runs with four more in the top of the fifth. Mike Courtwright (2x5) led off the inning with a double and then scored on an Alex Nelson double. Nelson scored on a Chris Wheeler single. McNeil and Kash also delivered RBI singles in the fifth.
Post 80 scored their first run off of Homer starter Tyler Cowen in the bottom of the fifth. Cowen issued his only walks of the game to the first two batters he faced. The first came around on a single.
Homer tacked on an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 13-1. Post 80 answered that with their second, and last, run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Post 465 struck for seven runs in the top of the seventh inning. Logan Kinney (2-for-2) started the inning off with a single, swiped second and came around to score on a Kash triple. Kash then scored on a Watkins base hit.
After a Courtwright base hit, pinch-hitter Smith launched the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a three-run homer. Langey followed that up with a triple and strolled home on a Tyler Simonetta double. Simonetta scored the final run of the inning on an RBI single from Kinney.
Cowen came back out in the seventh and nail the door shut for the victory. Cowen pitched six innings, allowing six hits, two walks and recording eight strikeouts.
“Tyler was fantastic today,” DiMattei said. “He hit his spots and he was blowing his fastball by hitters today. He looked strong and that was a great performance.”
In all, 11 different players had at least one hit for Post 465.
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