Post 346 rallies past Clay County in tourney play
By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute American Legion Post 346 took advantage of the one mistake that Clay County Post 2 made in the rescheduled Indiana Regional on Friday evening. Post 346 scored four runs after an error extended the pivotal seventh inning of a 6-3 win by the Terre Haute squad. Clay County’s loss bumps them into tonight’s 5 p.m. losers’ bracket game against either Clinton, Rockville or Sullivan. Weather has wreaked havoc on the original tournament schedule, bumping games back a full day.
Terre Haute came in on the heels of a 10-0 win over Clinton to start the tourney Wednesday evening. However, rain washed out play that evening as well as Thursday evening.
Post 346 relied on some two-out magic to open up a 2-0 lead against Clay County starter Kendrick McKee, who fared well in the game. Terre Haute scored a second inning run on a pair of doubles by Kavan Crowelland Reid Brown. The lead grew to 2-0 in the third inning as Blake Speth blooped a single and Evan Newman followed with a two-out double.
McKee mostly limited any real damage by Post 346 as he struck out five batters and and allowed six hits over five innings of work.
Clay County threatened early and often, but wasn’t able to dent the scoreboard until the fourth inning after stranding six runners over the first three frames.
Clay County struck pay dirt against Crowell in the fourth inning as Andrew Osborn drew a lead off walk and Derek Grayless laid down a sacrifice bunt. Seth Frey followed with a walk. Hayden France hit a chopper to the pitcher for a force out before Brigham Booe laced an RBI single with two outs.
Post 2 really got rolling in the fifth inning as Matt Clawson lead of with a walk and stole second base. Alex Reinoehl laid down a bunt and the throw to first went wide to score a run. Crowell gave way to Newman on the mound as Reinoehl stole second base. Jacob Lafary smacked an RBI single to put Clay County on top 3-2.
Terre Haute mounted a quick threat in the sixth inning, putting the first two batters on base as Reinoehl came in to relieve McKee. Reinoehl would get out of the jam by retiring three Post 346 batters to maintain the lead heading into the seventh inning.
The experienced Post 346 squad wouldn’t go quietly.
Newman was hit-by-pitch and Jason Mundell sacrificed him to second. Cam Cook hit a single to left field to set the stage for a squeeze bunt by Ethan Hunter that rolled perfectly down the third base line. Clay County catcher Brigham Booe chased down the grounder, but Newman raced by the attempted tag to tie the game. Brown followed with a grounder to first base as Clay County tried to turn the double play, the throw went into left field to score another run. Chris Latta blooped an RBI single and Speth followed with another RBI base hit to put Post 346 on top 6-3.
Newman settled in after allowing a fifth inning single and gave up just one more hit the rest of the way. Newman closed out the game with five innings of work on the mound for Terre Haute, allowing just two hits and striking out five batters.
American Legion Regional Tournament
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2B - CC (None), TH (Newman, Crowell, Brown). SB - CC (Clawson, Reinoehl, Lafary 2), TH (Speth). CS - Speth by Booe.