Brock Netter, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — His team hadn’t played in a game since Saturday, but Post 142’s Derek Eblin was in mid-season form on Wednesday.
The Shockers’ hurler threw a two-hit shutout and struck out five batters in the team’s 6-0 victory over Chillicothe Post 757 at Hoffman Field.
“Derek set the tone for us right from the get-go,” Post 142 coach Jonathan Teeters said. “That was one heck of an outing from him, giving up just two hits. He’s really tough to hit when he’s dialed in and that’s a tribute to how hard he really works.”
From the jump, the Shockers (4-4) showed patience at the plate and worked the count masterfully. After drawing three walks to load the bases, 142’s Cade Powell stepped up and ripped a two-run double into left-centerfield, putting 142 ahead 2-0.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Powell said. “I worked it to a full count and wanted to get something to the outfield to at least get one run across. I saw the outside pitch and went with it.”
He later scored on a wild pitch that pushed the score to 3-0, which was all Eblin needed the rest of the game.
“That run support really helped and gave me more confidence,” Eblin said. “It allowed me to relax a little bit, go out to do my job, throw strikes and let my defense play behind me.”
That trust he placed in his defense paid dividends.
The Shockers moved swiftly to ground balls and camped under fly balls throughout the course of the game.
Despite committing two errors, Eblin made sure those mistakes were followed up with strikeouts to the next batter. That was when he really started to get in a groove while looking more comfortable on the bump.
“My slider was really working for me,” Eblin said. “It wasn’t doing much early, but it got better as the game continued. I knew 757 had a lot of good hitters at the top of their lineup, and once I got through the lineup pretty smoothly for a second time, that was when I really felt it.”
As Eblin continued shutting down the Colts’ lineup, Powell continued to deliver the hits. He came through with an RBI single in the top of the fifth that extended the lead to 4-0.
With the no-hitter still intact, Eblin sat the Colts (5-6) down in the fifth unscathed and nearly did the same in the sixth. But with two outs in the inning, Dalton Conley broke up the no-no with a single to right-center.
“I knew it had to end eventually and I was starting to get a little tired,” Eblin said. “I figured they’d find a way to square one up and it happened.”
“We didn’t come ready to play,” Post 757 coach Tom Barr said. “It started by giving up five walks in the first inning and it was all downhill from there. We hit probably four to five balls hard in the first few innings that could have been hits. But they were right at their guys and we didn’t get another hit until nearly the seventh inning. Eblin mixed his speeds really well and got stronger as the game went on.”
Parker Clemmons logged an RBI double in the top of the sixth and Tucker Tackett capped the final score with a solo bomb to right field in the top of the seventh.
Powell led the Shockers’ offense, finishing 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs while Tackett was 2-for-4 with a home run. Cunningham went 1-for-3 with a double and a run, and Clemmons was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
For the Colts, Tyler Rood and Dalton Conley logged the team’s only two base hits.
Post 757 and Post 142 square off again on Friday in the opening day of the Jim Jadwin Tournament at 9 a.m.
“We’ll show them something different and I’m sure they’ll show us something different,” Barr said. “Despite how we looked today, I still really like this team. We have as much talent right now as we’ve had in the last few years, and now it’s up to us coaches to figure out some roles. We’ll be fine.”