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12-inning loss to Yeager lets 9ers knock off a little rust before Legion baseball regional
, Courier Sportswriter
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:00 AM
Madison Post 9’s Kyle Konkle (below) shows disappointment in the on-deck circle after the Niners’ third out denies him an at bat. Madison center fielder Josh Helton (above right) tracks a sinking line drive in the third inning that he caught and threw to first baseman Clark Vaughn to double off Yeager base-runner Nick Brems. (Staff photos by Mark Campbell)
AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
Regional Tournament Schedule at Shawe/Post 9 Field
Wednesday, July 23
Game 1 - Madison Post 9 vs. Batesville Post 271, 5 p.m.
Game 2 - Floyds Knobs Post 42 vs. Seymour Post 89, 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 24
Game 3 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 6 p.m.
Friday, July 25
Game 4 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 5 p.m.
Game 5 - Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 26
Game 6 - Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 1 p.m.
Game 7 - Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 4 p.m. (if necessary)
Visiting JB Yeager Post 199 scored four runs in the top of the 12th inning and pulled away for a 9-5 win over Madison Post 9 in the Niners' regular-season Legion Baseball finale at home on Monday.
Yeager, from Harrison, Ohio, had already won its regional and was just waiting for the Ohio State Finals to begin. Madison, which had three games canceled over the weekend, was just hoping to get a game in Monday before its regional begins on Wednesday.
In the end both teams got what they wanted. Madison ended up taking a loss, but the Niners sent five pitchers to the mound to get some much-needed work and head coach Tim Armstrong feels his team is now ready for the tournament.
"We didn't make the plays defensively. We just didn't field the ball cleanly at times," Armstrong said. "But overall, our goal was to get pitchers throwing and we were able to get everybody that we wanted to throw in to get ready for this week. That's a quality ballclub but they made some miscues too, we just didn't take advantage of them late."
Madison had a chance to win the game in regulation. The Niners scored a run in the fourth and five in the fifth and took a 5-4 lead into the top of the ninth.
However, an error led to Yeager's tying run in the ninth inning. Zach Vorherr led of the inning against Madison reliever Kyle Konkle by reaching on a throwing error that sent him to second. Jake Collingsworth followed by dropping a base-hit into right field to score Vorherr.
Konkle escaped any more damage in the inning by leaving the bases loaded and allowed only one baserunner over the next two innings.
But Madison's bats were unable to push the winning run across. The Niners' best opportunity came in the 11th when Konkle led off with an infield single and went to second on Channing Collins' single. After Tanner Sauley drew a walk, Clark Vaughn's deep fly ball to left moved Konkle to third.
But Konkle was stranded there and Yeager finally pushed across the go-ahead runs in the top of the 12th against reliever Conner Smith.
Smith got the first batter of the inning but three walks, an error and a two-run single by Collingsworth plated four runs and put the game out of reach.
Madison went down in order in the 12th to end the game.
"It was just one of those games," Armstrong said. "I'm not going to say it was a cleanly-played game but if anything, it's one of those games that we should learn from."
Yeager opened the scoring in the fourth inning when Josh Boeckman was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on an error in the outfield. But Madison answered with a run of its own in the fourth when Nate Hunter drove in Vaughn with a single to left.
Yeager came right back with two runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Collingsworth and a base-hit from Tyler Hanley to go ahead 3-1.
Madison took the lead with a big fifth inning that featured a two-run double to left-center by Vaughn, after leadoff batter Gage Hartman had reached on an error followed by a single by Konkle, an RBI single by Collins and a run-scoring bunt by Sauley as the Niners built a 5-3 lead.
Yeager pulled within one in the seventh when Nick Brems scored on Hanley's single to left.
Madison collected 11 hits in the game but Vaughn's double was the only one that went for extra-bases. Vaughn, Collins and Konkle had two hits each to lead the Niners while Sauley, Hunter, Tanner Jones, Ethan Leach and Josh Helton had one hit each.
Brems and Collingsworth led Yeager's 13-hit attack with three hits each. Jarred Drewes added two hits for Post 199.
Smith was the last of five pitchers to throw for Madison and suffered the loss. Vaughn started and struck out two in two scoreless innings. Hunter gave up a run on two hits in two innings, Kyle Baker allowed two runs on three hits in two innings, Helton gave up a run on two hits in two innings, Konkle allowed one run in three innings and Smith was tagged for four runs and a hit in one inning.
None of Madison's pitchers threw more than 30 pitches in their stint, something Armstrong and his staff planned from the start.
"We were able to go two innings apiece and no more than 30 pitches. We got what we wanted to see there," Armstrong said. "We just didn't play a clean defensive game."
T.J. Scott started for Yeager and was replaced by Taylor Lane just before Vaughn's two-run double in the fifth inning. Eduardo Rodriguez came on after back-to-back Niners singles with no outs in the seventh and side-arm-thrower Boeckman went the final two innings in relief and picked up the win.
Madison closes out the regular season with an 11-7 record. The Niners will host the regional tournament beginning Wednesday. Madison will face Batesville Post 271 in the first game with Seymour Post 89 and Floyds Knobs Post 42 meeting in Wednedsday's second game.
PHOTOS: 12-inning loss to Yeager lets 9ers knock off a little rust before Legion baseball regional
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