Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — While it’s a silver lining to a loss it didn’t want to take on the chin, there’s doubt that Chillicothe Post 757 boasts a team of absolute fighters in its dugout.
After a busy weekend of baseball, the Colts (12-5) saw their run in the 10th Annual Jim Jadwin Memorial Tournament come to an end on Sunday in a 6-5 loss to Ashland 76 in the event’s championship semifinal.
But let it be known that they did everything in their power to move on.
“We’ve got a good group. They don’t quit,” 757 coach Tom Barr said. “We’re like everybody else right now. You go into the tournament after playing league games and you’re short on arms. You’re having guys go out and do stuff that they’re not used to doing. But they battled. They battled back and they withstood the elements. We just got beat by a really good team.”
757 took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Michael Lashuk logged a two-run inside-the-park homer, lacing a ball into the outfield green that trickled all the way to the wall. But Ashland (4-1) provided an answer in the third, forcing a 2-2 tie.
In the fourth, 76 took a 3-2 lead with an RBI single before going ahead 5-2 in the fifth thanks to a two-run bomb.
But that’s when the Colts rose to the occasion at gut-check time.
With a pair of runners on in the top of the sixth, Chillicothe’s Drew Seymour sent a seeing-eye single into left to cut the deficit to 5-3. Later in the inning, Kody Haubeil cleared the bases with a two-run double to wipe the slate clean.
“Kody is a college guy. He played at Otterbein this year and he’s a leader on our team,” Barr said. “He hadn’t been swinging real well throughout the tournament. But he came in and there’s nobody I’m more confident in than him. Then Drew, he came to us last year, and he’s just a natural leader. So when we’re in the position to tie or win a game, we want those guys in those positions. They’ve been there and done that for us.”
After Seymour and Haubeil’s late-inning heroics, Dewey Dailey worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom half of the sixth to send the game into the seventh in a 5-5 tie. But after 757 stranded a runner, 76 loaded the bases before a walk-off single put a cap on things.
While the exit was earlier than his team wanted, Barr noted the growth he’s seen over the past three days.
“Like every year, we want to win the region,” Barr said. “We were able do do that last year and we feel like we have a really good group this summer. They showed that this weekend. So that’s our goal. We want to go to the state tournament.”
Statistically, Seymour led the offense with a 2-for-3 outing alongside two runs and an RBI. Reid Mengerink was 2-for-4 with a run, Leshuk finished 1-for-2 with the two-run home run, and Haubeil was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
On the bump, starter Evan Werr tossed 2 1/3 innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits.
The Colts are back in action on Tuesday, traveling to Wheelersburg High School to meet with Portsmouth 23.
“I think we just need to play our game,” Barr said. “We’ll have fresh arms again and these guys are not happy. If you’re happy after you get beat, you’ve got a team that isn’t very good. So these guys will come back ready to work hard. We’ll give Portsmouth everything we’ve got.”