After watching his team split a doubleheader with Olney Sunday, Vandalia Senior American Legion baseball coach Steve Hosick reiterated his belief that Post 95 has a very good team this summer.
‘When we’ve got everybody here, I think we can play with anybody,’ Hosick said. ‘But it’s hard to say you’ve got a good ballclub when you’ve lost twice as many as you’ve won.’
Trenton might have been focusing a bit too much on Vandalia’s 4-8 record coming in to Tuesday’s game, as Post 95 backed up its coach’s words by putting a serious hurt on Post 778 on its home field with a resounding 12-4 win.
Post 95 topped Trenton for the first time since it reformed back in 2004, thanks to 14 hits and big games by native Patokans Luke Murfin and Cody Wimberly.
Wimberly continued his hot hitting, launching a three-run homer in the fourth before banging out a run-scoring double in the fifth.
Murfin, who’s also been stinging the baseball at the plate, shined on the mound in his first start of the summer.
The sophomore-to-be picked up the victory by allowing just four hits in a complete-game effort, getting offensive support from the likes of Brenden Wasmuth, who doubled three times and drove in a pair of runs.
‘Luke was just dominant against a pretty good team,’ Hosick said. ‘It was fun to watch.’
Post 95 has been hitting the ball well enough to win all spring, averaging six runs per game, but it had lost three games by a total of four runs.
Post 95 seemed poised for a doubleheader sweep, as it took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning against Olney.
But the visiting team exploded for six runs in that inning and never looked back, escaping with a split thanks to a 7-4 win.
Post 95 starter Jared Winters cruised through the first four innings, giving up just an RBI double in the fourth, and his teammates gave him offensive support with a three-run first that included a two-run double by Trevor Summers and an RBI single by Murfin.
A Wasmuth RBI double extended Post 95’s lead to 4-0 in the third, but Olney responded with seven unanswered runs in the second half of the game.
Olney started its decisive rally with four consecutive hits off Winters in the fifth, including a two-run double that cut Post 95’s lead to 4-3. A hit batter then loaded the bases with one out and chased Winters from the game, as Summers came in to relieve.
Cody Smith greeted him rudely, launching a grand-slam homer over the left-field fence.
Post 95 finished with 11 hits, as Murfin led the way by going 3-for-3 and Summers was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Ryan Thiele chipped in two hits in three at-bats, but Post 95 managed just three baserunners in the final four innings.
‘We’ve been hitting the ball well,’ Hosick said. ‘But we’ve tended to shut it down late in games and not put teams away. We need to keep it up for nine innings.’
Fortunately, a late Olney rally came up short in the first game, as Post 95 held on for an 8-6 win.
Will Crain went 3-for-4, while Winters was 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI. Thiele added three RBIs and Wimberly and Murfin drove in a run apiece.
Kyle Huber picked up his second win of the summer, as Post 95 prevailed despite missing three players.
Hosick does not anticipate such problems in the upcoming district tournament.
‘I think we’re gonna be in good shape come district,’ Hosick said. ‘We’ll have all our guys here, and I think we can play with anybody when we have all our guys here.’