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Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:16AM - 236 Views
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Cody Leist


PDT Sports Writer


ASHVILLE — There could not be any more polar opposites Saturday afternoon at Teays Valley High School when Post 23 and Circleville Post 134 met for a pair of games and the conclusion of a third contest.


The Panthers, back-to-back defending District 7 champions, proved again their strength in next month’s district tournament will be tough to overcome as they went on to claim victory in all three contests.


“They’re just the opposite of us,” Post 23 coach Jack Branon said. “They pitch well, defensively they’ve got some kids that can play … they don’t give you extra runs. But the thing that they do really well is they just hit the ball.”


For Branon, he says his team is not excelling at any phase of the game. His first point came offensively.


“We’re just not hitting the ball very well,” Branon said. “I’m not sure if we’re capable of hitting the ball better than we are or not.”


Post 134 claimed victory in the suspended contest 8-1 as Post 23, listed as the home team because the game had originated in Portsmouth, earned its lone tally in the bottom of the seventh. Shortly after the conclusion of the suspended game, Post 23 scored a pair in the third thanks to a pair of Panther errors but Post 134 came back in the bottom half of the frame to score four runs and not look back on its way to a 7-3 decision. The frame spelled doom for Post 23 with back-to-back errors.


“Defensively, we’re hot and cold,” Branon said. “We didn’t play very well defensively in the first game but I thought in the second game we played pretty well defensively.”


The finale had the makings of a win for the Portsmouth squad, which had not won since last weekend’s Jim Jadwin Tournament. Post 23 jumped out with four in the first inning and looked to add more in the second but Ben Arnold ended the inning by grounding to a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded.


The Panthers took advantage of an infield single by Daryin Lewis with two outs in the third and turned it into a five-run inning that sent 10 to the plate. Branon, who had a legitimate case for Lewis being called out instead of safe, said things trickled down from there.


“Flip (Philip Cassidy) should have been out of that inning,” Branon said. “Some judgment calls don’t always go your way.”


Zach Brown brought Post 23 closer in the fifth when his RBI single scored Brady Knittel but it wasn’t enough in a 9-5 decision.


“We don’t seem to string very many hits together,” Branon said. “Even the runs we score in the second game, several of those were just wild pitches. We got a couple of key hits, we got two or three key hits, but we hardly ever hit the ball in the gap.”


Post 23 will look to rebound Sunday with a doubleheader at Chillicothe Post 62. The week continues with a trip Monday to Waverly Post 142 and another to Chillicothe Post 757 before the Ashland Fourth of July Tournament commences later in the week.


“We’re struggling to win, struggling to improve and struggling to get better,” Branon said. “We’ll see what happens.”


Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or cleist@civitasmedia.com. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.


Game 1 (Resumption of suspended game)


Circleville 134 000 170 0 — 8 11 0


Portsmouth 23 000 000 1 — 1 4 2


W — Lewis


L — Knittel


Records — Circleville 134 n/a; Portsmouth 23 7-19 (2-5).


Game 2


Portsmouth 23 002 000 1 — 3 5 3


Circleville 134 004 102 — 7 9 4


Portsmouth 23 — Carmichael 1-3 (SAC, RBI), Kenyon 0-4 (RBI), Shears 0-2 (BB, SAC, RBI), Moore 1-4 (RBI), Book 1-3, Cassidy 2-2 (BB, 2 R).


Circleville 134 — Shannon 1-4 (SB, RBI, 3 R), McKinney 1-4 (2B, RBI, R), Lewis 1-4 (RBI), Wright 2-4 (RBI, R), Shull 0-2 (BB), Templeton 3-3 (2 RBI), Cline 2-3 (2B, 3B, 2 R).


W — Lewis


L — Lawless


Records — Portsmouth 23 7-20 (2-6); Circleville 134 n/a.


Game 3


Portsmouth 23 400 010 0 — 5 8 0


Circleville 134 003 120 x — 9 12 1


Portsmouth 23 — Carmichael 1-4 (R), Kenyon 1-3 (SAC), Shears 0-2 (2 BB, R), Moore 0-3 (HBP, RBI), Arnold 0-3 (BB, R), Knittel 2-4 (2 R), Brown 2-4 (2 RBI), Howard 1-3, Book 1-3.


Circleville 134 — Shannon 0-3 (SAC, RBI), Kazmierczak 1-4, Lewis 1-3 (BB, SB, 2 R), Wright 2-4 (2B, RBI, 2R), Shull 3-4 (2B, 3 RBI, R), Templeton 2-4 (2 R), McKinney 1-1 (2B, 2 BB, RBI, R), Cline 1-2 (RBI), White 1-3 (RBI, R), D. Blackburn 0-0 (BB).


W — C. Blackburn


L — Cassidy


Records — Portsmouth 23 7-21; Circleville 134 n/a.



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