By Bryant Billing
Sidney Daily News
SIDNEY — Sidney Post 217 struggled last weekend in a tournament in Pemberville with a shorthanded squad. But with everyone back at Custenborder Field on Tuesday, the squad quickly regained form and earned a Western Ohio League victory.
A pair of three-run home runs by Kyle Noble in the first two innings sparked a 7-0 victory for Post 217 in an American Legion game against the Troy Post 43 Legends.
“The effort was there last weekend, but the energy wasn’t there,” Sidney Post 217 coach Daulton Mosbarger said. “It just wasn’t our weekend. But we got those few guys back and I came out and told them we had to refresh and get ready for a lot of league games.”
Noble, a 2018 Sidney graduate who now plays at Wilmington College, helped the team refresh. He is Post 217’s normal No. 3 hitter but didn’t play in the weekend tournament.
“We were missing him in the three-hole, and he showed how much we missed him when he immediately comes back and gets 6 RBIs in the first two innings,” Mosbarger said. “He’s a guy we’ve leaned on for a few years now, and it’s nice having him back.”
Troy starter Ian Gengler hit Sidney leadoff hitter Evan Monnier in the bottom of the first and then walked Zach Griesdorn. Noble then hit a home run over the center-field fence to put the squad up 3-0.
He hit another three-run home run to center field in the second, this time with two outs. Monnier and Griesdorn drew walks, then Noble smashed a full-count pitch from Gengler over the fence.
“After he hit the first one, I was worried he’s become a guy that looks for an off-speed pitch,” Post 43 coach Frosty Brown said. “We tested him and threw bunch of fast balls (on the second at-bat) and got the count full, and I think one more fast ball was just too much.”
It’s just the second WOL game of the season for Post 217, which is undefeated in league play. The team has had three WOL games postponed (including two against Van Wert) but will quickly be catching up. Sidney traveled to Greenville Post 140 for a WOL game on Wednesday, will host Piqua Post 184 on Monday at Custenborder Field and will travel to Duke Park in Troy next Tuesday for a game.
“Troy’s a good team, and we had to beat them today so we can get to where we want to be,” Mosbarger said. “It’s a good start to this long stretch.”
The Legends dropped to 9-13-1 overall with the loss and 0-3 in WOL play. It was an adjustment game for the squad, which lost first baseman J.R. Young due to a broken ankle he suffered in a tournament in Omaha, Nebraska last weekend.
Troy has struggled at the plate at times this season and did again without Young on Tuesday.
Griesdorn pitched a complete game for Sidney and gave up two hits, both to Zach Seagraves. He struck outs seven batters and didn’t allow a walk.
“He was efficient,” Mosbarger said of Griesdorn. “He threw strikes, pounded the zone with all his pitches. After he got that lead in the first inning, he really dialed it in. When you get a few early runs, you know you can just go out and pound the zone and trust your defense to get outs.”
Seagraves, the No. 9 hitter, hit outfield singles in the third and sixth innings in his only plate appearances. The Legends had two other base runners as a result of Sidney errors but never advanced a runner further than second base.
“That’s something we’ve got to address and figure out what we’re going to do,” Brown said. “Losing (Young) impacts us a little bit, and I had to learn something from making the lineup without him today.”
Gengler, who allowed five walks and two hits, picked up the loss. He was removed after the second inning, and Darius Boeke finished on the mound. Boeke pitched four innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits. He struck out four batters and didn’t allow a walk.
“Noble was the only one who really hurt us tonight,” Brown said. “We had a couple of bad hops and a couple of balls that walked the line, but only giving up five hits …with guys that are all early relief pitchers is good.”
Mitch Larger batted in Sidney’s last run in the fifth. He hit a chopper that stayed fair along the left-field line that allowed Jack Heitbrink to score from third.
Noble finished 2 for 3 at the plate with a walk. Griesdorn was 1 for 2 with two walks and Kurtis Rutschilling was 1 for 3 with a walk.
Between Wednesday’s game with Greenville and Monday’s game with Piqua, Sidney will play in the Best of Ohio tournament this weekend, which will have games across the Dayton area. The squad’s first game in the tournament is Thursday in Springfield.
Troy traveled to Piqua on Wednesday and will play in the Lancaster Post 11 Classic this weekend.