EDDYVILLE – In a way, it was appropriate. Sadly appropriate, but appropriate just the same.
The season came to an end for the Titans of William A. Doyle Post 236 in a pair of one-run losses in the American Legion District 1 tournament at Lee S. Jones Park last week. Six times during the season, the Titans lost by one run.
Eight runs scored by the opponents and eight runs not scored by the Titans made the difference between a 6-23 season and a 14-15 campaign.
“It seemed like every team we played, they got the big hit when they needed it and we didn’t,” coach Billy Hodge said.
The young Post 236 team, which stands to lose only two players to the age rule as it stands now or four players if a proposed restriction goes into effect in 2014, had some strong points but did not have a lineup of power hitters who could make outfields respect them.
“A lot of times, the outfield played us shallow, so even when we had runners at second base, they could not score on a base hit,” Hodge said.
The tournament losses came to Paducah Post 31 by a 4-3 score in a first-round game July 23 and to Lyon County Post 68 by a 9-8 tally in an elimination bracket game Thursday.
Post 236 lost at Paducah 4-3 on July 10 and to Lyon County 9-8 at Mike Miller Park in Draffenville on July 8.
Mayfield Post 26 won the tournament over Paducah, defeating Post 31 14-7 on Friday. Earlier that day, Paducah advanced out of the elimination bracket with a win over Lyon County 6-3.
Mayfield defeated Paducah 8-4 in the upper bracket on Thursday.
Both the champion and runner-up advance to the state tournament, which opens today in Campbellsville.
Paducah 4, Titans 3
In the tourney opener Tuesday, Paducah took the lead for the first time in the game on a single by Clay Chandler with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning. The two runs Chandler drove in propelled the Post 31 team past the Titans, who had snapped a 2-2 tie with a run in the top of the frame.
Paducah reliever Dalton Mitchell pitched two perfect innings of relief to save the win for starter Jeremiah White and send Calvert City to the elimination bracket.
The Titans took one-run leads three times, only to see Paducah even the score twice in the bottom of the same inning and then finally move ahead.
Leadoff batter Cody Gilbert doubled, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by B.J. Elder and then gave the Titans a 1-0 lead on Tanner Foster’s RBI single, but Paducah got a two-out RBI double by Sam Goode in the bottom of the first to tie the game
After four scoreless innings showcasing Post 31’s White and Titans starter Kalen Parker, Calvert City scored again to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth. Marshall County’s Devin Chambliss opened the inning with a bunt single, stole second and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Bryce Orr.
But Paducah answered with a home run by Colby Griggs leading off the bottom of the frame.
Post 236 again took a one-run lead in the next inning when Aaron Armstrong reached on an error and then scored on back-to-back two-out singles by Ryan Alderson and Chambliss, who got the RBI.
Post 31 responded with a single, a walk and a bunt single to load the bases and set up Chandler for the game-winning RBI.
The Titans had eight hits, one more than Paducah. Foster and Orr were 2-for-4 with an RBI and Armstrong was 2-for-5.
White threw 144 pitches in 6-2/3 innings of work for Post 31.
Calvert City 100 001 100 – 3 8 1
Paducah 100 001 20x – 4 7 3
Shubert Moffatt (L) and Aaron Armstrong; Jeremiah White (W), Dalton Mitchel (S) 7 and Jon Darnell
Lyon Co. 9, Titans 8
An intentional walk to load the bases yielded the winning run when the second base-on-balls in a row by reliever Cody Gilbert resulted in an RBI for Lyon County’s Dustin Pendleton.
Nick Allen, who had reached on a bloop single that fell between three Titan defenders in right center, trotted home with the tally in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Then Pendleton, who pitched 3-1/3 innings of relief, got the victory by facing only four batters in the top of the ninth. He gave up a walk to Will Carr.
The Titans, who trailed 3-0 after three innings, cut the lead to 3-1 with a run in the fourth and went up 5-3 with a four-run fifth inning.
After Lyon County tied it with two runs in the bottom of the frame, Post 236 went ahead 8-5, only to see the Aces once again tie the score with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Calvert’s first run came when E.J. Elder drew a walk to lead off the fourth, moved to second on Tyler Ballard’s sacrifice and then scored on an RBI single by Gilbert, who started the game in center field.
In the fifth, Aaron Armstrong led off with a double, advanced on a single by Devin Chambliss and then scored on a looper over the Aces defense down the first base line by Shubert Moffatt. Chambliss was tagged out at third on the play.
But Moffatt, Elder and Ballard all scored to put the Titans up 5-3. Elder and Ballard reached on errors, with Moffatt coming home on Ballard’s ground ball.
Then Bryce Orr got new life when the Lyon defense could not handle his pop foul behind third base, and made the Aces pay with an RBI single that plated Ballard.
Post 236 got three more runs in the sixth. Tanner Foster walked, Chambliss drew a one-out walk and Moffatt singled for his second RBI, then Elder singled, bringing in Landon Burns in relief of Aces starter Adam Driver.
Burns got fly-ball outs from Ballard and Gilbert, but in between, Orr singled to drive in Moffatt.
After the Aces got lead on the bases-loaded walk in the eighth, Ben Wigand lined out to Foster at third, who stepped on the bag to double up on Trace Kuberski, who was caught off base. The double play ended the inning, but the damage was done.
The Titans left 13 runners on base, including three in the first inning.
But the Aces also failed to capitalize on opportunities, leaving 12 men stranded.
The two teams combined for 27 hits, with Lyon County getting a 14-13 edge.
Calvert City 000 143 000 – 8 13 2
Lyon Co. 030 023 01x – 9 14 3
Kalen Parker, Ryan Alderson 6, Cody Gilbert (L) 8 and Aaron Armstrong; Adam Driver, Landon Burns 5, Dustin Pendleton (W) 6 and Trace Kuberski