Post 159 finishes 3-1 in Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Following a home doubleheader loss to Beverly-Lowell on June 15, St. Clairsville Post 159 manager Mike Muklewicz didn’t know what to expect from his team as it ventured out of the Ohio Valley for the first time in his tenure. He did know one thing, however, his kids would compete.

Not only did Post 159 compete, it went a superb 3-1 in the Palmetto Legion Invitational baseball tournament over the weekend.

“I’m absolutely proud of these kids. For our first time in a Beach Tournament, I told them to have fun but take it (the trip) with a business-like approach. They did that,” Muklewicz said via telephone Sunday night.

“We only brought 11 guys down here, but they all contributed in one way or another,” he added. “There were a couple of guys that really showed me some things. I also think we bonded as a team, which I was hoping for.”

After going 2-1 in pool play Friday and Saturday, St. Clairsville (5-3) was matched with the other Buckeye State squad in the 8-team event — Ottawa — in Sunday’s action. Post 159 prevailed 14-4 in six innings.

Dylan Gregorcic (Bridgeport) and Will Balgo (St. Clairsville) combined on a five-hitter as St. Clairsville pitchers allowed just eight hits in its three victories. Gregorcic picked up the win with three strikeouts. Balgo fanned two in relief.

Post 159 tallied five times in the top of the second to break open a 3-2 advantage. After Ottawa scored once in the fifth, St. Clairsville finished with with a six-spot an inning later.

Dylan Busby (St. C. grad) slapped three singles and drove in two runs to lead a 14-hit attack. Mason Ramsay (Bellaire grad, B-W product) singled twice and homered to plate three runs. Cole Porter (Bellaire) drove in two runs with a single and double, while Jacob Probst (Martins Ferry) blasted a three-run homer. Balgo doubled and Izaak Jozwiak (Bridgeport) knocked in a run with a pair of singles and a double.

On Saturday, Drake Dobson (Martins Ferry grad) was a one-man wrecking crew in a 10-0, five-inning victory over Frederick, Md. The right-hander struck out three and walked four while limiting the Terrapin State squad to just one hit — that being a one-out single to right in the fourth.

Dobson also drove in a run with a single and double. Gregorcic had a two-run single while Porter and I. Jozwiak each doubled in runs. Ramsay and Balgo had RBI singles and Luke Jozwiak (St. Clairsville) singled and doubled.

Busby had two singles and Balgo an RBI in the loss.

“That’s the best American Legion baseball team I’ve seen in my 6-7 years of coaching,” Muklewicz admitted of national powerhouse Excelsior. “The hit the ball hard up-and-down their lineup and their pitching is six deep.”

Post 159 returns to action, locally, on Thursday when it travels to Vaccaro Field in Steubenville to meet Jefferson County Post 33 at 6 p.m. It returns home Friday as Marietta visits Memorial Park. A 1 p.m. doubleheader at home Saturday against Toronto precedes a twinbill, also at 1 p.m., at Weirton Post 10 on Sunday.

Wheeling wins three of four

MOUNT AIRY, Md. — Wheeling Post 1 compeleted its Maryland weekend trip with a 3-1 record, splitting two games with Funkstown.

Post 1 dropped the first game, 15-3, as Funkstown pounded out 11 hits. James Salvatori hit two singles and drove in a run, while Jon Milton added a single with a RBI.

Wheeling (11-4) bounced back in Game 2, ralling from a 5-1 deficit to win, 6-5. Dom Gorrence had three hits for Post 1, none bigger than his base hit in the top of the seventh to plate the game-winner.

Jarron Jones hit a solo homer in the third, Milton hit a triple with two RBI, and Eli Petho drove in run. Eric Cover struck out six to earn a victory, pitching into the seventh before Trevor Thomas came on and shut the door.

Toronto, Barnesville split

TORONTO — Coy Amis struck out six and wen tthe distance, twirling a one-hitter to lift Toronto past Barnesville in the opener of a doubleheader. Toronto won the opener, 1-0 and Barnesville bounced back for a 13-6 win.

Runs weren’t hard to come by in Game 2, though.

Aaron Marovich contributed three singles and an RBI and Cade Hannahs singled twice as Barnesville earned its first victory.