Post 13 comes up short in pitchers' duel

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BENNINGTON — In many of the Post 13 American Legion baseball team's games, giving up too much runs has did them in the win-loss column.

In Thursday night's game against Post 31 Rutland, there was no issue giving up lots of runs, but the one run Post 13 did give up was all the difference.

Post 31's Ethan Coarse hit a grounder to Post 13 third baseman Chandler Pouk, who cleanly fielded the ball, but made a throw that first baseman Tanner King couldn't dig out. This allowed a Post 31 player, who was on second, to score the lone run of the game in 1-0 win for Rutland.

Post 13 had two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth, but a pair of ground outs by Will Buck and Brian Grace did Bennington in to end it.

Losing in the fashion they did Thursday hurts for a Post 13 team starving for wins, but coach Scott Buck was proud of the effort put in.

"Never say die. We didn't quit," Scott Buck said. "We came out and played hard and played the best team in the division right to the very end. It's something that could have gone either way, but it didn't work out for us."

Pitching was the name of the game Thursday. Both Post 13's Joey McCoy and Post 31's Josh Beayon brought their A-game on the mound.

McCoy pitched into the eighth inning before giving way to Ryan O'Neill due to the American Legion pitch-count rule of 105 pitches. McCoy was absolutely stellar, going 7 2/3 innings, striking out seven and allowing just five hits to opposing batters.

His counterpart, Beayon, matched McCoy in every way. Beayon, a left-hander, went six innings, giving up just four hits to Post 13.

With McCoy putting in such a quality outing, it hurts for his coach to see the righty come out on the losing end.

"That's been the story of our pitching staff all season. I think we've had one game where our pitcher didn't go into the fifth or sixth inning," Scott Buck said. "There's no complaints here whatsoever. What hurts worse is to have a pitcher work that hard and not come out with a W. That's difficult for everyone to swallow."

Though Post 13 played a fairly clean game, there were multiple opportunities with runners in scoring position that they didn't take advantage of. On top of that, there were multiple baserunning gaffes made by the Bennington side.

There was a steal attempt from Grace on a play with confusion on the base paths, where he was thrown out and there was also a fly ball hit by Guy Milliman in the same inning, where first baseman Tanner King was doubled off of second.

The inability to come through offensively in key spots and those mental lapses proved costly in innings where Post 13 had a chance to break through.

"We had a couple of mental mistakes out there that could have been that run that we needed," Scott Buck said.

Post 13 falls to 6-11 on the season and will play Post 31 again Tuesday at home.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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