By David Fong
Group Sports Editor
TROY — The Sidney Post 217 legion baseball team opened Western Ohio League play with a 6-5 win over Troy Post 43 Tuesday at Duke Park.
“It was good to get our first league win under our belt for the 2017 season,” Post 217 coach Jim Koewler said. “We hope to continue this.”
Sidney jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning on singles by Keeton McEldowney, Austin Knapke, Tyler Louden and a double by Daniel Berning.
Post 43 would take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning on a walk, two singles and another single sandwiched around a pair of ground outs.
Post 217 would tie the game in the top of the fourth when Dylan Albers singled, moved to second on a balk, advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored when Dion Puthoff hit into a fielder’s choice.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Post 43 would score a run to take a 4-3 lead strength of one hit, a Post 217 error and a fielder’s choice. Post 43 would add another run in the bottom of the sixth on a walk, two errors and a fielder’s choice.
In the top of the eighth, Sidney would push across three runs to take a lead it would not lose. With one out, Daniel Berning singled and Austin McLane reached on a throwing error, putting runners on second and third. Albers reached base on a strike out when the pitch got by Post 43’s catcher, allowing Berning to score and McLain to move on to third.
Puthoff was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Post 43 then threw a wild pitch, allowing McLain to score and Albers to move up to third base. Post 43 then threw another ball in the dirt, with it skipping away from the catcher. Albers got a good read on the ball and was able to score what would end up being the game-winning run.
Pitchers Maddux Liles, C.J. Billing and Knapke combined to strike out five, while walking four and scattering six hits.
At the plate, Berning had a double and two singles, McEldowney and Louden each had three singles and McLain had two singles.
Sidney was able to pick up the win despite giving up a pair of leadoff walks that would both eventually score, three errors that led to runs and leaving 10 men on base, five of which were in scoring position.
“I told the guys these are the things we can’t afford to do if we want to be successful,” Koewler said.
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