PDT Sports Writer
ASHLAND, Ky.— Despite two attempts to close the deficit to a single run for the second time in the game, the bottom of the fifth inning proved to be too much for Portsmouth Post 23 in the 12-4 nightcap of a doubleheader Wednesday against Ashland (Ky.) Post 76 at Ernie Chattin Field.
The 76ers sent 11 to the plate in the fifth, leading to five runs off three hits, four walks and a Post 23 error. The rally was in response to Portsmouth’s second time of cutting the margin to two runs.
Post 76 started the contest with a three-run first inning off Post 23 starter Dylan Miller. Two of the runs were unearned after Miller struck out Aaron Elam but Philip Cassidy’s attempt to complete the out on the dropped third strike pulled Austin Howard off the bag.
The closest Portsmouth was able to get to the 76ers came in the second. Daulton Kenyon drew a bases-loaded walk to score Matt Penix and Brady Knittel hit a sacrifice fly to score Tanner Poage.
In retaliation, Connor Robinson’s two-run double put Post 76 back to a three-run advantage. It was more than enough for Nick Thompson, who came in relief of starter Kris VanCamp after two innings of work. Thompson allowed just two runs — an RBI SAC fly from Wesley Book to score Brady Johnson in the third and an RBI single from Book to score Alex Shears in the fifth — in five innings of work and struck out five for the win.
Shears replaced Miller on the mound after one-third of an inning after he allowed eight of the nine batters he faced reach base. Kenyon came in to pitch the remaining one and two-thirds innings.
Shears, Johnson and Penix were the only Post 23 batters with multiple hits. Portsmouth will travel this weekend to the Jim Jadwin Memorial Tournament in Chillicothe.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
Portsmouth 23 021 010 0 — 4 7 4
Ashland (Ky.) 76 321 051 x — 12 13 0
Portsmouth 23 — Kenyon 0-3 (BB, RBI), Knittel 0-3 (SAC, RBI), Shears 2-3 (BB, R), Johnson 2-2 (2B, BB, HBP, R), Penix 2-3 (BB, R), Book 1-3 (SAC, 2 RBI), Poage 0-3 (BB, R), Cassidy 0-2 (BB).
Ashland 76 — Holder 2-2 (3 BB, 3 R), Pridemore 2-5 (R), Robinson 1-3 (2B, BB, HBP, 3 RBI, R), Elam 1-5 (BB, RBI, 2 R), Farrar 2-5 (RBI, R), Brown 3-4 (BB, RBI, R), Fritz 1-3 (BB, 2 RBI), Slone 1-3 (SAC, RBI, R), Settle 0-3 (BB, R).
Records—Portsmouth 23 6-11; Ashland 76 n/a.