Victory! Post 13 wins first game of the season

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BENNINGTON — The first two weeks of the season were very tough for Post 13 American Legion baseball team. Five losses in a row to begin the season, followed by the unexpected exit of coach James Carey created a swirl of chaos for Post 13. All that chaos was put to rest though on Wednesday night when Post 13 came out triumphant in its contest against Post 36, defeating Ludlow 5-0 to win its first game of the season.

"This was a great win for the kids on our team to get," said Post 13 coach Scott Buck. "They all worked hard to get their first win of the season. Everyone on the team is capable of making plays on the field and I think this win shows that."

Pitching was the big key for Post 13 as starter Wyatt Whitman was just sensation on the mound, striking out six Ludlow batters through three hit-less innings to begin the contest.

"I had a lot of success with my slider," Whitman said. "My focus coming into the game was just to throw strikes. My off-speed pitches were working for me and that just boosted my confidence as I went deeper into the game."

Post 13 got a lead for Whitman in the first inning as James Reilly led off with a base hit and, after stealing second base, moved over to third on a wild pitch.

With men on the corners and one out, Cooper Weir got the job done for Post 13 with a runner in scoring position, knocking in Reilly on a RBI groundout to give Bennington a 1-0 lead.

"Felt good to get us ahead," Weir said. "The guys in front of me did a good job getting on base and I'm happy I was able to knock one of them in."

Post 36 finally got a hit off Whitman in the fourth inning on a leadoff of single by Ryan McSally, but that did bother the Hoosick Falls grad who continued to dominate, striking out the last two batters of the inning to keep Post 13 in the lead.

In his final inning of work in the fifth, Whitman picked up two more strikeouts, giving him 10 in five scoreless innings of work on the mound, while only giving one hit.

"It just felt great to come out and help the team win its first game of the season," Whitman said. "It's been a tough start to the season, but I think this win will give us some confidence and help boost our game going forward."

Bennington broke things open in the bottom half of the fifth inning, with Reilly again leading the charge with a leadoff single and then stealing his second base of the game.

Following a single by Brian Grace, Bryce Bush worked his third walk of the game to load the bases for Weir who again came up big for Bennington, running out an infield single for his second RBI of the game to give Post 13 a 2-0 lead.

The flood gates opened in the next at-bat, as Will Buck smacked a hard hit single to score one run, but a throwing error by Ludlow allowed both Bush and Weir to come around to scored and Post 13 was now up 5-0.

"All our kids are capable of hitting the ball hard and getting key hits when needed," Buck said. "The top of our lineup did a great job getting on base and the guys behind them drove them in. Fun to watch the kids have that success in the win."

Andrew Steven and Jon Iris both came on to a scoreless inning to close out the win for Post 13 who are now 1-5 on the season.

The Post 13 pitching staff only gave up two hits on the day and combined for 13 strikeouts.

"This was a great win for our ball club," Buck said. "Wyatt pitched a great game for us and he is a guy that can help us win a lot of game this season. Just very happy for kids and glad they were able to overcome everything that has been going on to get this win.

Post 13 will look to keep its momentum going when they face-off against Post 36 again today up in Ludlow.



Reach assistant sports editor Steven Bassin at 802-447-7567 ext 112 or @SBassin_Banner


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