By Steve Joos.
The ranks were depleted for the Mount Vernon American Legion baseball team for Thursday’s game at Heritage Hills, so manager Dan McNamara had to bring up a pair of players off the Junior Legion team.
They certainly made good additions.
Logan Brown and Austin Krizan combined for five hits and Brown caught all nine innings of Owen Dunn Post Five’s 13-7 victory at Lincoln City.
How well did things go for the Legion team against Heritage Hills?
“A lot better than (Wednesday, when Mount Vernon was pummeled at Newburgh 12-2 in five innings), that’s for sure,” McNamara said. “We had a number of kids up and down the lineup get hits for us.”
Brown and Bryce Newman each collected three hits, while Krizan had a pair of blows in helping Post Five to its third win of the season.
The win salvaged a week where Post Five started with a tough 8-5 loss at the hands of Carmi and then fell by the 10-run rule at Newburgh.
Owen Dunn loaded the bases over the last seven innings of the game, but didn’t really start cashing in until the last few, McNamara said, despite scoring four runs in the top of the fourth inning to wipe out a 5-2 Heritage Hills lead.
They managed a run in the sixth and two in the seventh for a 9-5 advantage, but couldn’t get much else while Heritage Hills pulled to within a pair in the bottom of the sixth.
“In the eighth inning, we finally got to their bullpen and started scoring some runs,” McNamara said.
A four-run explosion in the eighth put the game out of reach for Heritage Hills.
Bo Harris, Seth Reeves and Trevor Veeck also had two hits each.
Brown and Krizan were added to the senior roster after a number of players had to miss the game due to family commitments or football camp, which McNamara said he hadn’t been informed of until right before the game.
Drake McNamara shook off a rough start to get the win, while Ross Canada finished up in relief.
Tuesday, Post Five dug an early hole and couldn’t get out, dropping an 8-5 decision to visiting Carmi.
“We didn’t swing the bat very good those first five innings or so,” McNamara said. “They (Carmi) had a nice little pitcher (Brodie Brown). Mainly curve balls first, then fast balls and we had trouble adjusting. After seeing him probably the third time, we started hitting the ball on the nose, but it was right at somebody.”
Carmi chipped away at Owen Dunn a little at a time, plating two runs here and there until they had built a 6-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. After Brown started tiring in the later innings, Mount Vernon was able to generate a few runs, but it wasn’t enough.
“We had a few hits, but they were right at someone,” McNamara explained. “We just couldn’t catch any breaks.”
Troy Paris came in off the bench to collect a pair of hits, while Ford had two, as did Veeck. Canada also had a hit, but the team was unable to string enough of them together to generate some runs.
The team also struggled defensively, to the tune of four errors.
On Wednesday, Post Five traveled to Newburgh, scored the first two runs of the game and was promptly flattened by Kapperman Post 44 12-2 in seven innings under the 10-run rule.
Newburgh plated six runs in the bottom of the second inning at the Castle High school baseball field and never looked back, pounding out 16 hits and taking advantage of two Mount Vernon errors.
“Our first five guys got hits and then we stopped,” McNamara said. “We weren’t able to get anything else going after that and Newburgh started hitting the ball and taking advantage of our mistakes. They had one big inning and we never came back from that.”
Reeves and Jevin Redman each had two of the six blows managed by Mount Vernon at Newburgh.
Wednesday and Thursday saw Mount Vernon up against a pair of teams which drew from a number of schools for their rosters.
In addition to Heritage Hills, players from Tell City and Forest Park were in the other dugout Thursday, while Newburgh brought in players from Castle, Harrison, Bosse and Memorial.
Well, they got help from the Junior team at Heritage Hills.
Did they ever.