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Post 33 wins one, loses one to open state tourney

Team drops game to Napoleon Post 300, rebounds against Utica Post 92

DEFENDING — Jefferson County Teramana Post 33’s Blake Connelly fields a ball during the team’s state tournament contest against Napoleon on Tuesday. -- Kim North

LANCASTER — A week away from game-action can do a lot to a baseball team. It certainly seemed to have an affect on Jefferson County Teramana Post 33 Tuesday afternoon, as the state American Legion baseball tournament opened up play.

The Steubenville-based squad committed an uncharacteristic five errors — three in the first inning and two on one sequence — and Napoleon Post 300 capitalized for a 10-5 verdict on sun-scorched Beavers Field.

However, Post 33 (24-11) bounced back to eliminate Utica Post 92 by a 6-1 count in the fifth and final game of the day.

“We’ve been practicing and playing intra-squad games. There’s no excuse. The errors we made were uncalled for,”Jefferson County manager Anthony Pierro said. “When you have as many errors as we did, you’re never going to win. If we don’t have those errors, it’s an entirely different ballgame.”

The first game started out well, as George Ash struck out the first two Post 300 hitters before walking Breven Deckrosh. Chase Clark singled to center, but when the ball was bobbled in the outfield, Deckrosh broke for third. The throw was off the mark and eventually rolled into the Post 33 dugout along the third base line, as Deckrosh was awarded the plate. Clark moved to third on the play and came home when Caleb Frank collided with Post 33 first baseman Quinn McCoy, as the ball came free for a 2-0 reading.

Jefferson County had Dave Ferroni on third and Ryan Anderson on first with one out in the bottom of the first, but back-to-back punchouts — one looking and the other swing — ended that early threat.

Napoleon made it 3-0 in the second when Nolan Schafer dropped a single down the right-field line leading off. Another Post 33 miscue advanced him to third, and he sped home when Jefferson County turned a nifty 4-6-3 double play.

Napoleon’s Blake Altaffer retired 10 straight after striking out the pair to end the first. That streak ended when Ash reached on an error with two outs in the fourth.

A three-run fifth bumped Post 300’s margin to 6-0.

Post 33 finally broke through for three runs in the fifth, two off the bat of Ferroni. Caesen Sutton scored the first run on a wild pitch.

Napoleon got two of those tallies back in its next at-bat, as another error ignited the uprising for a 8-3 lead.

Two more unearned runs in the top of the seventh made it 10-3, but Anderson drilled a double to left-center to plate Blake Connelly and J.T. Thompson.

Ash took the loss. He struck out three and walked two while giving up six hits and a like number of runs, of which five were unearned. Cooper Blackburn fanned one and walked two.

In the second game for Post 33, Sutton’s two-run double highlighted a three-run third, and Jefferson County never trailed in remaining alive. Ferroni slugged a double while Thompson singled twice and knocked in a run. Anderson, Corey Cottis and Hakim Edwards all had run-scoring singles.

Ty Householder, the second of three Post 33 hurlers, charted two strikeouts while issuing a trio of base-on-balls. He didn’t allow a hit. Fernandez gave up two hits, a run and fanned three to one walk in 3 2/3 innings. Sutton closed out with two innings of perfect relief, striking out one.

Jefferson County is back in action at 7 p.m. today against the loser of the Conneaut-Harrison game.

Game 1

Napoleon 10, Jefferson County 5

Napoleon 2-1-0 3-2-0 2 — 10 11 3

Jefferson 0-0-0 0-3-0 2 — 5 8 5

NAPOLEON POST 300: Altaffer (WP, CG, 5R (3ER), 8H, 0BB, 8K) and Schafer. Lichty D, RBI; Yahraus S, D, RBI; Clark S, RBI; Woods D; Schafer 3S; Rubinstein D, 2RBIs; Hamilton 2S, RBI.

JEFFERSON COUNTY POST 33: Ash (LP, 4IP, 6R (4ER), 6H, 2BB, 3K), Blackburn (2IP, 2R, 2H, 1BB, 1K), Connelly (1IP, 2R, 3H, 0BB, 0K) and Ferroni. Thompson 2S; Ferroni S, 2RBIs; Anderson 2S, D, 2RBIs; Sutton S; Connelly S.

Game 2

Jefferson County 6, Utica 1

Utica 0-0-0 1-0-0 0 — 1 2 1

Jefferson 0-0-3 0-1-2 x — 6-6-0

UTICA POST 92: Ward (LP, CG, 6R (5ER), 6H, 5BB, 4K) and Bailey. Pound S; Gilhoni S; Bailey RBI.

JEFFERSON COUNTY POST 33: Fernandez (WP, 3 2/3IP, 1R, 2H, 1BB, 3K), Householder (1 1/3IP, 0R, 0H, 3BB, 2K), Sutton (2IP, 0R, 0H, 0BB, 1K) and Ferroni. Thomson RBI; Ferroni D; Anderson S, RBI; Cottis S, RBI; Sutton D, 2RBIs; McCoy S; Edwards S, RBI.

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