Thursday, July 11, 2013

BASEBALL: Mechanicsville Post 175 with surprising rout of West End Post 361

Michael Thomas' pitching kept West End Post 361 from mounting big innings, while Mechanicsville Post 175 finally turned LOB's into runs in the middle innings to win 13-3 in a #1 vs. #2 District 11 showdown tonight at Deep Run High School.

Thomas struck out 11, though 2 of those ended in wild pitches with 361 batters reaching base.

Dalton Ruch opened the game with a solo home run to left in the first, but Will Black's RBI groundout into a double play plated Brandon Stein to tie the game after two.

175 left two more on base in the third (five total in the first four innings), and 361 took advantage of a wild pitch and a mental lapse to take the lead in the fourth when John Lloyd walked, then, advanced to second after a double play and scored from second when a Thomas wild pitch was retrieved in an aloof manner by catch Mitch Keeler for a 2-1 Post 361 lead.

It was the fifth inning where Post 175 took control, loading the bases five times, scoring three runs to retake the lead, using five singles and a walk to generate the runs.  And yes, they left two more stranded.

In the sixth, Michael Thomas nearly took the head off of tonight's first base coach, Evan Swecker, on a line shot foul down the first base line. On the next pitch, Thomas roped a home run down the right field line for a 6-3 advantage.

In the seventh, they put it away, with a seven-run outburst. Five singles, two hit batsmen, and walk and a bases-clearing double by Bryant Lowry made it 13-3.

Thomas earned strikeouts #10 and #11 on Chad Shaw and Cole Hyman to end the game.

Post 361 drops to 15-4, but firmly in the #2 seed in District 11 if the season ended today. Post 175 improves to 14-2, but still must play five games in three days, including doubleheaders Friday (home to Post 125) and Saturday (at Colonial Heights), so a regular season championship is still far away.

But it will help immensely that head coach Eddie Gates never had to go to the bullpen, saving the rest of his pitching depth for the grueling weekend stretch still to come.

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