Legion baseball: Sidney Post 217 loses twice in state tourney to end season


LANCASTER — Sidney Post 217 ran out steam in the American Legion state tournament on Wednesday at Beavers Field, lost two games in a seven-hour span and finished its season.

Post 217 lost 10-0 in five innings to Napoleon Post 300 in an elimination game on Wednesday afternoon after losing 3-1 to Yeager-Benson Post 199 in the morning. The squad, which won the Region 2 tournament for the fourth straight year to advance to the state tourney, finishes with a 19-18-1 overall record.

Sidney managed four hits against Yeager-Benson (21-7), three of which came in the last two innings. Pitcher Ian Bierbaum threw a complete game for the Harrison-based squad; he gave up one earned run and struck out five batters while walking three in seven innings.

Gabe Link pitched a complete game for Sidney; he gave up three earned runs on seven hits and struck out five batters.

Yeager scored one run on two hits in the third, but Sidney tied it in the top of the fifth. David Brunner and Ben Rinderle each drew walks with one out and advanced to third and second on a sacrifice bunt by Gavin Roberts. Brunner scored on a wild pitch, but Bierbaum coaxed a pop out to end the inning.

Yeager immediately responded with two runs on three singles in the bottom of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead.

Sidndey threatened in the sixth. Titus Gehret reached first on a fielder’s choice grounder, then Xavier Phlipot hit a single to second. But Bierbaum stuck out Dylan Sanders to strand both runners.

Yeager-Benson committed two errors; Sidney didn’t commit any.

Napoleon Post 300 blasted 12 hits off three Sidney pitchers to earn the run-rule win.

Sidney Post 217 starter Gavin Roberts gave up five earned runs on eight hits and two walks in three innings while striking out four batters.

After Napoleon (38-9) built the 5-0 lead in the first three innings, it finished the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Sidney relief pitcher Noah McEldowney hit Jackson Grine with a pitch, but then retired the next two batters on fielder’s choice grounders.

But Gavino Gomez hit a line-drive single to center to drive in one run, then McEldowney walked Kadyn Radzik. Abram Delano then hit an RBI single on a line drive to left to push the lead to 7-0.

Sidney removed McEldowney and put Titus Gehret on the mound. Napoleon’s Devon Morris hit the second pitch from Gehret over the right-field fence to drive in three runs and push the margin to run-rule territory.

McEldowney was 2 for 2 at the plate against Napoleon. He hit one double against Yeager-Benson, which was the squad’s lone extra-base hit of the day.

Sidney managed four hits off Napoleon’s Blake Hauenstein. He struck out five batters in five innings on the mound and walked two.

Yeager-Benson and Sidney were the last two undefeated teams in the double-elimination tournament. Yeager-Benson earned a spot in Thursday’s championship with the victory over Sidney, but was forced to play Beverly-Lowell at noon. Beverly-Lowell won 2-1 to stay alive and hand Yeager a loss.

The three remaining teams each have one loss. Napoleon will face Beverly-Lowell at 10 a.m. on Thursday, and the winner advances to face Yeager-Benson in the championship game at noon.

Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

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Bryant Billing has worked as the sports editor of the Sidney Daily News since 2017. He worked as a reporter and later as an editor for a weekly newspaper in Springfield from 2007 to 2012, managed a Springfield-based website called TopBillingSports.com from 2012 to 2016 and then worked as a freelancer for Cox Media Group Ohio newspapers (including the Dayton Daily News) from 2016 to 2017 before joining the SDN.

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