Mother Nature forces changes

TORONTO – Mother Nature has made her presence known this week.

For the second time in a couple of days, severe storms have brought the Region 7 American Legion Baseball Tournament to a screeching halt.

Two elimination games were scheduled to be played Friday at Toronto Knight Baseball Complex, however, Game 1 failed to reach completion forcing yet another adjustment of the tournament schedule.

The loser’s bracket game between Richmond and Toronto was suspended in the top of the sixth inning with Post 740 leading Post 86, 2-1. At the time the game was called, Toronto had one runner on base – Nate Stewart who drew a one-out walk – with two outs and Seth Wilson at the plate.

The game was delayed at 5:21 due to lightning, and the game was finally called off about an hour-and-10 minutes later.

The game is scheduled to be continued at noon today back at the KBC.

“This helps both of us a little bit,” Richmond (10-24) head coach Sam Davis said. “We will have to complete this game, but neither team will have to play two nine-inning games back to back.”

The completion of the game is just one of four games on tap today. The winner of the game between Post 740 and Post 86 will play Wayne County afterward. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Then after that at 7 p.m., Steubenville will play Alliance in the winner’s bracket final.

There is also one game scheduled for today at Vaccaro Field in Steubenville. Coshocton will play Tuscarawas County in an elimination game. That game is slated to start at 4 p.m.

“The break will even help the rest of the teams left in the tournament,” Davis said. “It is tough to play nine-inning games back-to-back.”

Ryan Kramarich started the game for Post 740. He struck out two and walked two in 5 innings of work.

Offensively, Richmond has outhit Toronto, 9-3.

Tyler Owens took the ball for head coach Steve Sninchak’s Toronto ballclub. Owens struck out five without issuing a free pass in his five innings of work.

Post 740 plated both of its runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Nolan Marcus started things off by reaching on an error. Then with two outs, Storm Mohn picked up a base hit to put two runners on base. Next, Tyler Krantz and Collin Scott followed with back-to-back RBI singles.

Post 86 plated its run in the top of the fifth.

With one out, Jay Lane reached on a throwing error and eventually was called safe on an attempted steal. With two outs, Tyler Owens singled home Lane to make it 2-1.

With the game suspended, pitching is the biggest question mark heading into today.

“We are not sure what we are going to do pitching-wise,” Davis said. “Ryan can’t come back. At this point, it is all hands on deck.”