TORONTO - The Toronto Post 86 baseball team hosted a back-and-forth affair Tuesday against Weirton Post 10 at the Knight Baseball Complex. Post 10 emerged victorious, 8-7, with some late-inning heroics.
Weirton trailed 7-6 entering the final inning. The away team would score two runs in the top of the seventh frame - with a little help from Toronto.
Post 10 catcher Cody Harmon opened the inning with a walk. Matt Cessna then ripped a double to left field which caromed of the outfielder's glove. Two batters later, an error occurred at home plate when Post 86's first baseman tried to catch Weirton's lead runner. An errant throw ensued and the ball slammed into the backstop. Both Weirton base runners were able to score.
"I give our guys credit," Weirton Post 10 coach Bill Magnone started. "They never lay down. They kept fighting even after we struggled initially during the early parts of the season. We may not be the best team, but they'll keep fighting through thick and thin."
Veteran Chris Perna slammed the door shut on Toronto's attempt at a comeback. Perna faced four batters in total to earn the win. He struck out three.
"Chris Perna is a heckuva ball player," Magnone complimented. "He has a good head on his shoulders. It saved us tonight. He came in a shut the door even when he got down in the count."
Both teams started the game with action on the base paths.
Weirton opened the day's scoring courtesy of a Tre Smith sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning.
Toronto immediately responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. Two wild pitches allowed a pair of base runners to initially gain second and third base before eventually scoring. Brad Melville's single made sure the second run passed the plate.
Weirton retaliated in the second inning with a run, but the third frame was when Post 10 exploded with four runs.
John Shaw laced a triple off the right center field wall to set the table for Post 10. Smith singled Shaw home. Cessna's single put runners on first and third base. A bloop single from Josh Russell scored Shaw. Mitch Viakley also singled a run home before the inning came to a close.
Post 86 chipped away at Post 10's early 6-2 lead. Toronto added a run in the fourth inning and a pair of tallies in both the fifth and six innings to regain the lead - albeit momentarily.
Toronto's damage in the bottom of the sixth inning came with two out and empty bases. An error allowed Melville to reach base. Spenser Sninchak, Seth Wilson and Ralph King each singled. King's comeback liner brought two runs past the plate; before it fell apart for Toronto.
"We left too many runners in scoring position," Post 86 skipper Steve Sninchak said. "We just can't get that big hit or play when we need it. We've had trouble putting three or four hits together consistently.
"We have to cut back on our walks. That was a lead-off walk that set everything up. We need to learn to battle and finish for 21 outs.
"We did come back, but we have to hit the ball better particularly with runners in scoring position."
Toronto is back in action today against Coshocton for a nine-inning affair, while Weirton awaits the Beast of the East Tournament set for Thursday.
Weirton 8, Toronto 7
Weirton 114 000 2 8 13 3
Toronto 200 122 0 7 7 1
WEIRTON (9-6): Barr (4.2 IP, 6K, 5BB); Shaw (1IP, 1K, 1BB); Perna (WP, 3K) and Harmon. Barr 2-1B, RBI; Shaw 3B, 1B; Smith 1B, 2RBI; Harmon 1B; Cessna 2B, 1B; Russell 2-1B, RBI; Johnson 1B; Viakley 2-1B, 2RBI.
TORONTO (5-15): Melville (5IP, 2K, 1BB); Wilson (LP, 2K, 1BB) and King. Melville 2-1B, RBI; Sninchak 2-1B; Wilson 1B; King 1B, RBI; McIntosh 1B, RBI.