Post 87 shocks Shelby
The Post 87 HiToms showed just how good they really are.
They rallied from an early hole to tie the game in the third and exploded for six runs in the fourth en route to winning 12-5 against Shelby – a team that was 39-1 coming in – on the second day of the American Legion state tournament Saturday at Lexington’s Holt-Moffitt Field.
“It’s exciting,” HiToms coach Rob Shore said. “The past two games, we got behind. But we didn’t give up. We started smacking the ball. It seems like when we get behind, that’s when our kids step up. … So, it’s exciting, because it’s a great time to be hot.”
Post 87 continues play in the winners bracket Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Holt-Moffitt Field against the Gaston Braves, who beat Davidson County 7-4 in Saturday’s late game.
Trevor Gay pitched eight strong innings, striking out six, in the win. He allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits, but four of those hits and all three runs came in the first two innings in which Shelby built a 3-1 lead. After that, he faced just one more than the minimum.
“I kinda struggled the first few innings, couldn’t find my groove,” said Gay, noting he went to his changeup until finding his slider. “But when you have hitters like we do who can put runs on the board, it’s satisfying as a pitcher. I just went back out and threw strikes, which makes it easy.”
Meanwhile, Post 87’s offense excelled. Cesar Trejo had two hits, including a double, and four RBIs, while Zach McLean had a double and four RBIs as well. Colin Rosenbaum also had three hits and three runs, as the HiToms led 12-3 in the seventh and very nearly run-ruled Shelby.
Shelby grabbed the lead in the first inning with two unearned runs in the first inning, as Post 87 committed two errors. And, after the HiToms scored once in the bottom half, it homered to center field to lead 3-1. But Post 87 was quick to respond in the third.
Rosenbaum and Ryan Hedrick led off with back-to-back singles. Then, two batters later, Trejo ripped a double to deep center field that scored Rosenbaum easily and Hedrick, who had to make a leaping slide around Shelby catcher to avoid the tag and touch home to tie it 3-3.
“It was an incredible slide by Ryan Hedrick,” Shore said. “I think that play right there turned the tables. It tied it up – it was a good relay and everything, but Ryan just made a heckuva slide. I think that gave us new life.”
In the fourth, the HiToms loaded the bases with two outs for McLean, who lofted a fly ball to deep right. Off the bat, it looked fairly routine. But, as several other balls did throughout the game, it continued to carry and safely landed in the outfield grass, allowing all three runners to score.
Post 87 added RBIs by Trejo and Evan Edwards in the inning, in which it sent 10 batters to the plate, to lead 9-3 and tacked on one in the fifth on a wild pitch and two in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by McLean and an error to lead 12-3.
It had the game-ending run on third with the bases loaded and two outs. But it couldn’t push across one last run, and, after Gay exited, Shelby managed two runs in the top of the ninth before the HiToms finished off the win.