By Josh Brown
TROY — Troy Post 43 coach Frosty Brown lamented the fact that his team wouldn’t get a third day of games in a row to start the year.
“I sure wish we had a game for Tuesday, because you can see improvement daily,” he said.
After getting swept in a doubleheader at Whitehouse Legion on Sunday to open the season, falling 5-2 and 6-5, Post 43 bounced back on Monday by returning home to Duke Park to sweep the Cincinnati Riverbats 6-1 and 3-2 to begin the season with a 2-2 record.
“We kicked off the season by splitting two doubleheaders,” Brown said. “I like the potential this team has, and it is imperative that we take on quality opposition to develop that potential. We were Ohio American Legion state runners-up last year, and playing teams like Whitehouse and the Riverbats exposes areas that we need to concentrate on.”
In the opener against Whitehouse, Troy led 2-1 going into the bottom of the sixth, but the opposition plated four runs in the bottom of the inning to take control. Mitchell Lindsey got the start for Troy, allowing one run in four innings. Nick Matney came on in the fifth with a one-two-three inning, but he hit a pair of batters and walked one to load the bases, giving way to closer Anthony Steele. He made a solid play on a suicide squeeze attempt for the first out, but a bloop RBI single and another hit batter gave Whitehouse a 3-2 lead, then another single and a mishandled ball in the outfield made it 5-2 going into the seventh and Whitehouse held on from there.
Dylan Hensley gave Post 43 another quality start in the second game, allowing only two its in five innings and helping Troy carry the lead into the bottom of the sixth again. But Troy gave up three runs to fall behind 6-4, and a seventh-inning rally was cut short in a one-run loss. Michael Hale was 3 for 3 with an RBI double and a stolen base to lead the way offensively in the second game.
Monday against Cincinnati, though, Troy put together a pair of complete efforts. In the first game, Post 43 led 2-1 after four innings and put the game away with a four-run fifth inning. Chris Heisey delivered a solid start, striking out seven and scattering three hits in five innings of work, with Logan Donovan closing out the game. Greg Peffley was 2 for 3 with a double and four stolen bases, while Ethan Garland, Hunter Cohee and Steele were all 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
The second game against the Riverbats turned out to be a pitcher’s duel, with Cohee pitching a complete game, striking out four and allowing only three hits.
Post 43 spotted him a 2-1 lead early, also, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Peffley singled and stole second, and after a walk to Brandon Nesbitt, Hale hit a double that brought home both runners.
The Riverbats tied the scored at 2-2 in the top of the fourth, but Post 43 scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Keaton Mohler beat out an infield single and stole second, then Roswell hit a grounder to third. The Riverbats’ fielder looked Mohler back, but Mohler took off for third the instant the ball came out of his hand. The Cincinnati first baseman tried to throw Mohler out at third, but the throw was errant and Mohler scored the go-ahead run — and Cohee did the rest.
“The Whitehouse team is made up of players who took Anthony Wayne High School to the Division I regional final, and the Riverbats came in with a 3-0 record,” Brown said. “I know I learned a lot about our layers, and I was pleased that we improved from Sunday to Monday.”
Troy Post 43 hosts Pemberville Legion at 7 p.m. Wednesday, travels to Ottawa Legion Thursday and returns home to host Greenville in the WOL opener on Friday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.