Post 84 offense erupts in twinbill sweep of host Barnesville

Mike Hughes
Special To The Daily Jeffersonian
Cambridge's Bryce Murdock drives in one of his three RBIs during Friday's doubleheader sweep of Barnesville in American Legion baseball action.

BARNESVILLE — Cambridge’s bats are alive and well. Friday at Barnesville, Post 84 erupted for 24 runs on 25 hits in completing an evening sweep of Post 168, 11-0 and 13-6.

In the process, the boys from Guernsey County provided longtime manager Ron Antill with wins No. 800 and 801 of his illustrious career.

“It’s mind boggling to think I’ve been doing it that long,” Antill admitted after the game. “That’s a long, long time. I started in 1990. That’s 32 years.

“It’s mostly been good times and fun. This is a good, fun group," Antill added. "They sometimes get a little rowdy, but they like to have fun.”

During his 32 seasons as the manager, Antill’s teams averaged 25 wins. Winning and longevity do go hand in hand.

That’s one of the many reasons that Antill keeps finding to head to the ballpark each summer.

“I love it. I always say it keeps me out of troubles and keeps me young with these kids here,” he said. “I enjoy it, or I would have quit a long time ago.”

Barnesville didn’t quit in the nightcap.

After getting mercy ruled in five innings in game one, Post 168 flirted with a similar fate in game two, only to either prevent the deciding run from crossing the plate, or scoring their own runs to keep the deficit less than five.

Gavin Carpenter and Logan Shepherd both drove in two runs apiece for the hosts.

Cambridge, meanwhile, received three RBI from a hot-hitting Bryce Murdock, along with two apiece from the Valentines, Brock and Jake.

Barnesville's Logan Shepherd hauls in a foul ball during American Legion action with visiting Cambridge on Friday evening at Barnesville's Memorial Park.

Post 84 receiving two hits apiece from Caden Burga, Parker Long, Angelo Rocco, Tyler Dodd, Brock Valentine.

Jake Valentine picked up the mound win, striking out seven against six walks while allowing two runs on three hits.

Cambridge 11, Barnesville 0

In game one, Hayden Loy led the double-digit hit parade with two RBI on a pair of singles, backed by one RBI apiece from Blade Barclay, Murdock, Garrett Burga, Colin Campbell, Kaden Whaley, and Drew Yanico.

It’s Post 84’s third win in a row and its third-straight game wrapping out more than 10 hits.

“This is a good hitting team,” Antill said. “We’ve got lots of hitters on here.”

Post 84 also has some quality arms. Jensen Helmuth went the first four innings, striking out five runners and allowing only two hits before giving way to Cannon Clum in the fifth.

Antill admitted he could have left Helmuth in, but with the district tournament a little more than a week away, he wanted to get his rotation right and with optimal rest.

“That’s one reason we took him out,” Antill said. “He can pitch Tuesday, and (Austin) Fox will be back and they are our 1-2. They can both pitch full games Tuesday and, our first game in the district is not until the following Monday and they will have five days rest apiece.”

Antill noted that it’s been a few years since his team has won the district tournament—2013 to be exact.

“We’re going for it this year,” Antill said. “We haven’t won the district since I think 2013. It’s been quite a while. I’d like to go back to the state tournament at least one more time before I hang it up.”