The Hillsboro American Legion Post 129 baseball team traveled to Chillicothe on Tuesday to take on Chillicothe Legion Post 62 at VA Memorial Stadium in the Region Five tournament. Chillicothe beat Hillsboro 16-5 in five innings as McClain’s John Salyers stroked a two run home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game.
Post 129 jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Zach Mitchell and Payton Bell scored on a Caleb West single for the first two runs of the game. After advancing to second on a single by Mason Stanley, West scored on a single by Dylan Boone before Grant Crum struck out and Justin Scott grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Post 62 plated one run in the bottom of the first inning despite three errors in the inning by the Hillsboro defense and trailed 3-1 after one full inning of play.
Hillsboro added one run in the top of the second before Post 62 found their rhythm in the bottom of the second as they plated three runs as Carson Stauffer reached on an error and scored on a triple by Matthew McDonald. McDonald scored on an error that also saw Travis Wise reach first safely. Jason Blevins finished off the rally with a single that scored Wise from second base and gave Chillicothe the lead.
In the third inning both teams were retired in order and sent the game into the fourth inning with the score sitting at 5-4 in favor of Post 62.
Hillsboro scored their final run of the game in the top of the fourth when Matthew Mitchell smacked a double to left field that resulted in a throwing error by the Chillicothe left fielder that allowed M. Mitchell to score and tie the game at five runs apiece.
Chillicothe took control for good in the bottom of the fourth as they scored nine runs in the inning to take a commanding 14-5 lead. Post 62 sent 16 batters to the plate in the inning and forced two pitching changes by Hillsboro before the dust finally settled.
After Hillsboro went down in order in the top of the fifth inning, Salyers was the second batter to the plate in the bottom of the fifth. Salyers ended the game with a prodigious blast over the right field wall that plated two runs for a final score of 16-5.
Post 62 head coach Scott Morgan commended starting pitcher Ethan Humphries for pitching well on the day and lamented the play of the defense behind the pitcher.
“Ethan pitched a good game we just didn’t give him much help behind him. This is probably the worst game defensively we have played the entire year and when your pitcher is throwing extra pitches every inning it’s not easy on him,” said Morgan.
Salyers was asked after the game what it felt like to end the game with a walk off home run and said, “It feels good but, I think it is also a good thing going into our next game playing the higher seed. I think it will give our team a little bit more lift and excitement so we can go out there and keep winning.”
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.