TENNESSEE — Troy Post 43 returned to the East Tennesse Bash tournament last week — a tournament the team won last year — but over the course of five games from Thursday to Sunday, Post 43 went 2-3 as the offense simply couldn’t get things going in the wooden bat tournament.
“This year, we fell short,” Troy Post 43 coach Frosty Brown said. “Overall, we hit the ball well, but the extreme humidity combined with the wood bats reduced the flight of the balls. Many times we hit balls that looked like potential doubles or home runs that simply died and were caught. We also experienced some rather poor umpiring that even allowed our opponents to bat out of order twice.
“In other words, things could have gone better.”
Things started off well on Thursday, though, as Post 43 knocked off the Tennessee Express 3-0. Ryan Lavy got the win and Zach Kendall the save as the duo combined on a five-hitter. Dustin McReynolds provided the offense, piling up three hits and a double, while Jimmy Pelphrey added a double.
Later that night, though, Post 43 fell to the Georgia Fury 6-2. Reid Ferrell took the loss as three Troy pitchers combined to give up only five hits but eight walks.
On Friday, Post 43 ran into Van Fahler, the ace of the Chattanooga Baseball Club. Troy managed only two hits in a 2-0 loss as Austin Baumgardner struck out seven and only gave up five hits himself.
That 1-2 record gave Troy the No. 13 seed, pitting them against No. 5 Chattanooga Express on Saturday — and Post 43 had its biggest game of the tournament, winning in an 8-0 rout. Trenton Wood had a no-hitter going through five innings and ended up with a two-hitter, striking out six and hitting one. Evan Bowling, Greg Peffley and Colton Nealeigh each had two hits and two RBIs to put Troy in the semifinal round.
And on Sunday, it looked like Post 43 would reach the championship game as it rallied to grab a 7-3 lead in the fourth inning against the Nashville Preconcepts. Troy added a run in the top of the sixth to make it an 8-3 game, but back-to-back walks and an infield hit loaded the bases and a three-run double cut the lead to 8-6.
“In that inning, the preconcepts batted a player out of turn, and the umpire — who didn’t want to keep the lineup cards — created a mess that carried over to the final inning,” Brown said.
In the seventh, a walk, a bloop and an infield single loaded the bases, and again Nashville sent a batter up out of turn. A hit batter brought in one run, then a pinch-hit single brought in the tying and game-winning runs.
“I felt we gained some valuable experience, and using wood bats will prepare us for later tournaments,” Brown said.
Post 43 was scheduled to play Greenville at home Tuesday night in a game that was not complete by time of press. Troy then travels to Muncie tonight.