CHILLICOTHE – The Greenville Thunder 19U baseball team (Greenville American Legion Post 140) traveled to Chillicothe to compete in the 9th Annual Jim Jadwin Memorial American Legion Baseball Tournament.
“Overall I’m very proud of the kids,” said Greenville Thunder coach Chad Henry. “We came into this tournament last year at 11-2 & left at 11-6, so to come down here and compete the way we did made for a really fun weekend. The kids faced a lot of very good high school and college baseball players, and that experience will show in their careers going forward.”
Greenville earned an early Friday afternoon win by defeating Chillicothe Legion Post 757 by a 9-7 score. Trent Collins paced Greenville driving in four runs on three hits including a single, double and a triple.
Greenville collected 16-hits with Reed Hanes and Collins collecting three hits each. Grant Delk, Zac Longfellow and Jarin Young each collected two hits. Greenville was perfect in the field playing error free ball.
“It was nice getting Zac (Longfellow) back to what he’s capable of doing,” Henry noted. “He has shown a bit of frustration this season with his results, but with each game we are getting closer to closer to the guy we’ve come to rely so much on the last three seasons. He was something to the tune of 9-19 on the weekend, just turned it on every game for us.”
Playing in the 7 p.m. Friday night game, the Thunder dropped a 6-0 game to a high powered Jefferson County team. Both Longfellow and Young collected two hits in the loss.
The third game of the weekend tournament had Greenville Thunder blowing out Portsmouth Legion Post 23 by an 11-1 run rule win with Alec Fletcher picking up the win on the mound.
“Tyler (Beyke), Alec (Fletcher), Brody (Williams) & Reed (Hanes) were clutch for us on the mound,” Henry stated. “They mixed speeds in the zone and threw strikes, went deep into games when we needed and really bailed us out of a few bad situations.”
Greenville tallied 15 hits led by three Tyler Beyke hits in four at bats. Tytan Grote, Delk, Longfellow and Young each tallied two hits in the lopsided win. Once again, the defense was perfect playing error free ball.
“Trent (Collins), Tyler (Beyke), Zac (Longfellow) and Jarin (Young) did a great job in the field this weekend,” said Henry. “They bailed us out of numerous situations where we allowed a ball hit too hard and come back in without damage.”
Game four went to Greenville Thunder by an 8-4 score over Hillsboro Post 129 to advance to 3-1 in tournament play with Tyler Beyke getting the win tossing six innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out four.
The Thunder accounted 10-hits with Reed Hanes driving in three runs on two hits. Longfellow and Grote each added two hits in the victory.
Greenville closed out weekend play with a tough one run loss to a very good Ashland, KY Legion Post 76, the eventual tournament championship team.
Beyke, Young, Longfellow and Collins each collected a hit in the 7-6 loss to bow out of tournament play and close out the weekend with a 3-2 mark.
“I’m probably most proud of the way they fought for one another,” Coach Henry said of his Greenville Thunder teammates. “We have challenged them repeatedly to play for the guy next to them, and they really showed this weekend that they are willing to do that.”
“You can sense the brotherhood starting to take shape in their interactions in team chat, in the pregame and in the huddles between innings,” concluded Henry. “It’s a really fun group of kids.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Greenville Thunder 19U centerfielder Zac Longfellow. (Gaylen Blosser photo)