TORONTO Pitching is at a premium once post-season play begins.
The Toronto and Cadiz baseball teams entered Thursday's elimination game at the Knight Baseball Complex in need of a strong outing by their starting pitcher after the two team's both used multiple pitchers in their opening game defeats. In the end, Post 86's Jarin McIntosh pitched into the eighth inning while Post 34's Rashaen Mitchell did not make it out of the second stanza, and when it was all said and done Toronto held on for a 13-9 victory to advance in the loser's bracket while eliminating Cadiz from the Region 7 American Legion Baseball Tournament.
With the win, Post 86 (10-18) will now play in its second-elimination game of the tournament when they play at 4 p.m. today against Richmond back at the KBC.
With the loss, Post 34 ends the season with a record of 10-12.
McIntosh gave Toronto a much-needed strong outing against Cadiz.
"You are correct," Toronto head coach Steve Sninchak said. "He pitched well. We needed a strong outing on a day like this. It was hot out today."
Toronto had to use four pitchers in Monday's 7-6 loss to Massillon. Starter Nate Stewart was only able to record three outs before being pulled in the second inning. Zach Barnes, Logan Allen and Hank Clegg all logged innings in the game.
Thursday, McIntosh was able to give the bullpen a little rest as he pitched seven solid innings before being pulled in the eighth without recording an out. McIntosh recorded nine strikeouts and six walks in picking up the win.
"We had a nine-run lead. He was throwing strikes, and we wanted to save innings from some of the other guys," Sninchak said about why McIntosh came back out to start the eighth inning.
McIntosh was relieved in the inning by Logan Allen, who pitched two innings against Post 221. Cadiz was able to make good contact against Allen, who did not record a strikeout while issuing one free pass in 2/3 of an inning of work.
"Logan threw strikes," Sninchak said. "They just hit them. You have to hit your spots. He threw well."
Hank Clegg, who pitched one inning against Massillon, earned the save. Clegg struck out one and walked one in his 1 1/3 innings of work on the mound.
"Hank did a nice job," Sninchak said. "We looked lackadaisical on defense in the last couple of innings. You have to have that close-down mentality. In tournament's like this, you have to get all 27 outs."
Post 34 was forced to go to the bullpen early in the game in the team's two losses.
In Tuesday's 16-5 loss to Coshocton, Cadiz starter Nick Pelegreen recorded just six outs while not making it out of the third inning forcing Post 34 to use Jonathan Borkoski and Ryan Rose in relief.
Thursday, Mitchell did not make it out of the second stanza. He only recorded five outs before he took himself out of the game in the middle of an at-bat. Mitchell took the loss. He did not record a strikeout while walking two batters in 1 2/3 innings of work.
He was replaced in the second stanza by Nick Patrone. Patrone produced six strikeouts while issuing six free passes in 5 1/3 innings of work on the mound.
Pelegreen replaced Patrone in the eighth. Pelegreen, who recorded one strikeout and five walks Tuesday, struck out one and walked one in two innings of work Thursday.
"We had to make changes due to injuries," Cadiz head coach Brandt Mazeroski said. "In this hot weather we had to make changes.
"I thought Nick Patrone, our second pitcher, came in and did a fine job. He has a sore back himself."
For the second straight game, Post 34 produced 13 hits. Cadiz ended up outhitting Toronto, 13-11.
Individually for Cadiz, Andrew Chlon delivered a single, two doubles and an rbi. Borkoski belted two singles and a double to go along with an rbi and Pelegreen ended up with two singles and an rbi. Also, Eric Williams and Patrone each recorded two base hits, Dalton Rutter tallied a base hit and Rose recorded an rbi.
Though Post 34 outhit Post 86, Cadiz failed to produce some timely hit at key points in the game. Cadiz left several runners on base in the game, including leaving the bases loaded twice.
"That is correct. We left the bases loaded twice," Mazeroski said. "We cut down on our errors today. They are a good team. Toronto has beaten us twice this season. We are 2-2 against them. We had good swings.
"We were shorthanded again with injuries and stuff. It is the time of the year for other sports. We had to work with what we got. We put the players in a position to win. It is up to them.
"We were hoping to have a better year. Going two-and-out hurts. It hurts me. It hurts our coaches. It hurts our players, but you can't change it."
The winner of the Toronto-Richmond game will take on Wayne County at 7 p.m. in the second-elimination game of the night at the Gem City.
Toronto 130 003 141 13 11 3
Cadiz 101 010 051 9 13 4
Batteries: McIntosh, Allen, Clegg and Solomon. Mitchell, Patrone (2), Pelegreen (8) and Williams