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Post 37 splits first two games

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By Todd Martin

The Shelbyville American Legion Post 37 baseball team opened its season over the weekend, losing 12-11 at Danville Saturday and then winning the home-opener against Rockport, Ind. 20-10 Sunday.

Scoring 31 runs in two games would normally make a head coach happy, but Jim Wiley said he's not content at all with his team's performance over the first weekend.

"You should win two games when you score 11 runs," Wiley said of the team's loss at Danville. "We hit the ball pretty well, obviously, but we kicked it around a little. I felt like we made two or three defensive mistakes that really cost us. And our pitching didn't hold up either."

Post 37 was up 8-0 going into the bottom of the third when Danville finally got on the board with two runs on two hits and three walks. Danville added five runs in the fourth and then took a 9-8 lead with two more runs in the fifth.

Shelby battled back to take an 11-9 lead in the top of the seventh when six straight batters reached base safely.

However, Danville battled back to tie the score at 11 with two runs in the bottom of the inning, and then took the lead with a one run in the eighth.

Shelby couldn't answer in the top of the ninth, leaving the tying run stranded at second.

"We got the lead and then Danville just kept chipping away," Wiley said. "They got back into it, and then we just couldn't get it done. It comes down to defense and our pitching just not getting it done. You'd think we could hold on with an 8-0 lead in the third."

Ryan Shea's two-run homer in the first highlighted the team's scoring. Jordan Burk led the way overall at the plate, getting three hits and five other players finished the game with two hits.

In Sunday's game against Rockport, Shelbyville's bats were as hot as the weather. Post 37 banged out 23 hits against the visitors from Indiana, on their way to a dominating offensive performance.

Shea hit his second home run in as many days, Craig Edwards had five RBIs on three hits, and Jordan Burk went 5-6 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

"We hit the fire out of the ball," Wiley said. "Everybody hit, up and down the line-up. I thought we played a little better, but we still gave up 10 runs. As well as we're hitting the ball right now, there's going to come a time when a good pitcher comes along and stops us. We have to get something out of our pitching staff."

Wiley said he didn't know what to do about the team's pitching situation right now, but he added that working six pitchers in three games might not have been the best idea.

"We wanted to try to get a lot of guys in so they could get some work and that might have hurt us a little," he said. "But we have to be able to hold leads when we score 10 runs. Hopefully these pitchers we have can continue to improve as the season goes on."

Shelby tournament

Post 37 will bring in four teams this weekend for the 28th Annual Shelbyville American Legion Invitational Tournament. Games will begin Thursday with the championship game on Sunday.

The line up of teams is again impressive.

"Ashland and the Storm Club (Cincinnati, Ohio) are always good teams, and Dubois, Ind. has a lot of players back from last year" Wiley said. "The Missouri team (Cassville) is a new team this year, so I don't know much about them, but I doubt they'd come all the way up here if they aren't any good. It should be a good tournament."

Tournament schedule

Thursday

3 p.m. -- Ashland vs. Storm Club

5:30 p.m. - Dubois vs. Cassville

8 p.m. - Shelbyville vs. Ashland

Friday

3 p.m. -- Dubois vs. Storm Club

5:30 p.m. - Ashland vs. Cassville

8 p.m. - Shelbyville vs. Storm Club

Saturday

Noon - Shelbyville vs. Cassville

2:30 p.m. - Dubois vs. Ashland

5 p.m. - Storm Club vs. Cassville

7:30 p.m. - Shelbyville vs. Oldham County

Sunday

1 p.m. - Third place game

3:30 p.m. - Championship