Post 64 opens tourney with win over Cambridge

Photo by Ron Johnston Marietta Post 64’s Trent Dawson, right, dives back to first base as Cambridge Post 84’s Steve McPeek fields a pickoff throw during an American Legion Region 8, District 11 tournament baseball game Friday at Don Coss Field in Cambridge.

CAMBRIDGE — Marietta Post 64’s southpaw pitchers gave Cambridge Post 84 batters fits.

Starter Brandon Schamp gave up three hits and reliever Turner Hill none as the Mariettans downed the Guernsey Countians, 7-3, in American Legion district tournament opening round baseball action Friday afternoon at Don Coss Field.

After the opening inning, Cambridge went both hitless and scoreless.

“Brandon was good, and Turner was really good,” said Post 64 skipper Brian Brewer.

In five innings of work on the bump, Schamp struck out three, walked four, and allowed three earned runs.

“I hadn’t pitched live pitching in awhile,” said Schamp, a Potomac State College signee. “I think I was just throwing too hard and got excited

“Coach Brewer told me to slow my arm down when he came out the first time. So, I did and just threw strikes.”

Finishing up, Hill retired 12 straight batters, fanning four of them.

“It’s good to get the first win, and hopefully we can keep rolling,” said Hill, a Malone University recruit.

Hill, who started the game in center field, drove in three runs while Isaac Danford, Trent Dawson, and Zach Cunningham each had one RBI.

“Offensively, I think we left a few runs out there,” Brewer said. “As a whole, we did what we needed to do. (Cambridge) helped us out a little bit with some free passes and we made the most of those opportunities.”

Rusy Hayhurst started and suffered the mound setback for Cambridge, which started the summer with three straight wins against Marietta. But, now, Post 84 has dropped two in a row to Post 64 (16-5).

“It’s a good win, and that’s a good team we played today,” Brewer said. “So, we managed to get by game one, and hopefully we’ll be ready to go in game two.”

Marietta is slated to play the Zanesville-Cadiz winner in a winner’s bracket game Saturday at 3 p.m.

After fanning the first Cambridge batter he faced, Schamp gave up a hit, issued two straight walks, and then got tagged for a two-run single by Garth Charlton.

Trent Valentine followed with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 3-0.

“That first inning wasn’t such a great start,” Brewer said.

“I’m sure Brandon had some nerves going, but he certainly settled down. I thought that was a really impressive performance by him considering his lack of innings this summer for us. The fact that he settled down really set the tone for us.”

Hill agreed and added, “Brandon was a little shaky the first inning, but he battled back. He was tough and (Cambridge) couldn’t hit him.”

Marietta got the bats going in the second inning when Clay Hayes led off with a single to left. Brandon Neville followed with a walk, and was safe at second on a fielder’s choice. Boyd Bingler was also safe at first on the groundball, loading the bases.

Dawson’s one-out single drove in Hayes, and then Cunningham followed with a hit to left to plate Neville. With two outs, Hill singled home both Bingler and Dawson to put Post 64 in front, 4-3.

Without the benefit of a hit, Marietta batted around and stretched its lead to 7-3 in the fourth. With one out, Dawson was safe on an error and advanced to second and then third when Cunningham and Bryce Gandee each was hit by a Gaeton Sinisgelli pitch. Sinisgelli then walked Hill, Danford, and Hayes to force in two runs. Another Post 64 run scored on a wild pitch, which was declared out of play by the ump.

“Free bases, that’s the name of the game whether it’s the walks, hit batsmen, errors, wild pitches, passed balls,” Brewer said. “We’ve got to make the most of those opportunities, and we did today.”