By Josh Brown
TROY — Troy Post 43 hasn’t had the best luck this season.
After a 1-4 run through the Decker Sports College World Series Tournament in Omaha last week, Post 43 returned to Ohio and got back on the right track with an 11-6 victory at Richmond Legion on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, Troy hosted Sidney Legion in a WOL game, couldn’t get its bats going and had some bounces go against it in a 4-1 loss at Duke Park, dropping the team below the .500 mark on the season.
Post 43 — which began this weekend’s Post 11 Fourth of July Tournament in Lancaster Friday with a 15-16 overall record — kicked off last week’s Decker CWS Tournament with a pair of losses, 10-3 to KB Building Services (Omaha) and 5-4 to North (Edmond, Okl.). Troy scored its only win of the tournament, 5-4 over St Mary’s (Colorado Springs, Col.), but it finished the tournament with a 7-0 loss to Post 2 (Fargo, ND) and a 4-2 loss to the Nixa Merchants (Nixa, MO).
“The Omaha trip is a wonderful opportunity to play some very fine baseball teams, plus to attend several College World Series games,” Troy Post 43 coach Frosty Brown said. “On the field, we could have played a lot better. We’ve been streaky all summer. I am making some changes to try to remedy the situation and regroup for our most important part of the season.”
Those changes paid quick dividends against Richmond on Tuesday night, with Troy jumping out 2-0 in the first inning and putting the game away with a three-run fourth to hold on for a 6-1 victory.
“The remedy has to start with the pitching, and in particular the starting pitching,” Brown said. “We got an excellent start from Logan Donovan, who worked the first six innings, and his breaking ball simply stopped Richmond — which beat us two weeks ago. Noah Roswell worked the final three innings to record a save.”
Offensively, Hunter Cohee and Ethan Garland both hit RBI singles in the first inning to put Troy up 2-0, then three more in the fourth made it a five-run game. Greg Peffley — who was 2 for 5 with a pair of runs in the game — hit an RBI single, then a mishandled fly ball allowed two more runs to come around to score.
Brandon Nesbitt was 4 for 4 in the game with two RBIs and Cohee was 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI.
But on Wednesday, it only took Sidney Legion an hour and 55 minutes to hand Troy a 4-1 defeat.
“That indicates that both teams played well and the pitchers were throwing strikes,” Brown said. “Our Chris Heisey and their Josh Nixon matched up in an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel.”
Sidney took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, stringing together three straight hits — including one on a bad hop on a ball by Nixon to bring in the run.
“We have been a tough-luck team all season, and their first run came on a terrible bad hop that should have ended the inning,” Brown said. “And on our side, we hit the ball hard but right at their players all night and stranded 11 runners. And when we’d make a defensive mistake, Sidney would make us pay.”
Troy committed errors in both the fifth and seventh innings — and both times, Drew Wehrman cashed them in with RBI singles. Wehrman ended up going 4 for 5 on the night, piling up half of Sidney’s hit total for the game.
Post 43 fought back in the seventh, plating a run. Back-to-back hits with two outs by Michael Hale and Cohee scored Peffley, who had reached on a walk — but Troy only managed five hits in the game.
Post 43 traveled to Lancaster Friday to begin play in the Post 11 Fourth of July Tournament, facing Pickerington and Coshocton in games that were not complete at time of press. Following that, Troy plays East Lansing and Napolean on Saturday.
“(Lancaster) is the home of the State Legion Tournament and has a turf field, and we are the defending champions,” Brown said. “The teams involved are the top legion teams in the state. We face a lot of teams who have great traditions, so we have our hands full. But this again will help us take steps in the right direction.”
Also this weekend, Duke Park will play host to the First Annual Troy Bombers Stars and Stripes Junior Legion Tournament, running Friday through Sunday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.