Post 37 swept in doubleheader at Evansville

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By Todd Martin

It's not the fact that the Shelbyville American Legion Post 37 baseball team dropped two games against Evansville; it's the way it's happening that bothers head coach Jim Wiley.

"I thought our team looked better, but when we went out to play it wasn't there," he said. "They out hit us, out pitched us and played better defensively. At first I thought it was just one of those days where things don't fall together. But the more I think about it, it seems like every time we play good competition we make mistakes defensively and we don't hit."

Shelbyville has been swinging the bat well almost all season, but fell 9-1 to Evansville in the first game, and followed that up with an 8-3 loss in the second game.

"Evansville didn't make one error in either game, and we made three in the first game," Wiley said. "Those hurt us. I told the guys on Saturday that we have to put the defense on the field. Guys that can catch the ball and make the plays because the bats aren't hitting good pitching."

In the first game, Shelbyville had seven hits, but had more than one in just one inning. The lone run came in when Ryan Shea led off the fourth with a triple and scored on Jordan Toby's fielder's choice.

In the second game, Shelbyville tallied nine hits, but had trouble stringing hits together. Gregg Tingle and Terence Shelburne hit back-to-back singles in the third. Tingle scored on a wild pitch and Shelburne came in on Shea's fielder's choice. Tingle scored again in the fifth when he led off with a triple and came in on Shelburne's sacrifice fly.

However, looking on the bright side, Wiley said he and his team are learning something.

"I think over the last three or four games we've learned that maybe we're not as good hitters or fielders as we thought we were," he said. "Most of the infield is playing well, but our outfield is hurting us. I'm not satisfied with our outfield or our play behind the plate. I have 18 guys on the team, and I'm going to try my best to get the right defensive players on the field."

While the defense has struggled most of the season, the team's pitching has also been very inconsistent. While Wiley may get a complete game one night, he'll be forced to use three pitchers the next night.

"Our pitching wasn't good at all (at Evansville), and it hasn't been consistent yet," he said. "We need to get some consistency there, because the end of the season is right here. We have two more weeks and then it's playoff time -- there's not a lot of room to be guessing at things."

UK tournament

Post 37 will travel to the University of Kentucky on Thursday for a tournament.

Shelbyville will play at UK's Cliff Hagan Stadium on Thursday in a 1 p.m. game against the KY Baseball Club. The team will then play at Georgetown College on Friday at 2 p.m. against the KY Kings.

Saturday the team will start off in Georgetown at 9:30 a.m. against the Diamond Stars, before heading back to UK's stadium for a 3:30 p.m. game against Ashland Post 76.

There will also be a skills competition Friday evening with players competing in a 60-yard dash, outfield arm strength, catcher's drills, around-the-horn skills and a home run derby.

"I only know a couple of the teams up there, and only one that we play, but I think there's going to be some really good competition," Wiley said. "It's usually a good tournament, and getting to play on those nice fields is always fun."