As the Hilliard American Legion Post 614 Darby baseball team moved deeper and deeper into the District 12 tournament, coach Brett Maniaci knew he'd have fewer and fewer pitchers from which to choose.
Maybe that's why Columbus (Watterson) Post 82 didn't seem bothered by a three-run deficit last Monday as the two teams resumed the tournament's third-place contest at Thomas Worthington after a rain delay a day earlier.
Trailing 11-8, Post 82 scored eight times in the seventh top post a 16-13 victory and end Post 614's season at 15-13 overall.
It took Worthington Post 239 only seven innings to dispose of Post 82 16-5 in the shortened championship game last Monday.
"It was pretty rough because we had a lead," senior pitcher Joey Drakulich said. "But we're pretty proud of what we accomplished. We didn't think we'd get that far in the tournament. We just came together and played some good ball."
Post 614 entered the postseason on a three-game winning streak and continued to produce runs with wins over Hilliard (Bradley) Post 614 (9-3 on July 14) and St. Charles Post 144 (8-0 on July 15) before it lost to Post 239 (11-1 on July 16).
Sam Harmon, who was 5-2 with a 4.07 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 39.6 innings, pitched a complete game in the win over Post 144, which defeated Post 614 twice during the regular season.
Last Friday, Zach Parsley, who was 4-3 with a 2.05 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 44.3 innings, did the same in the 15-2 win over Northwest (Upper Arlington) Post 443.
To reach the third-place game, Post 614 defeated Grove City Post 162 8-1 last Sunday.
"Those guys (Harmon and Parsley) were certainly a one-two punch for us this summer," Maniaci said. "We definitely exceeded our expectations. We typically win a couple in the tournament and then lose two, but we just kept hitting the ball this year and kept it going."
Post 614 batted .335 as a team and averaged a little more than seven runs per game.
Zach Thompson (.495, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 21 RBI) led nearly every offensive category.
Brad Taylor (.354, 14 RBI), Alex Ziemkiwicz (.338, 15 RBI), Chase Longwell (.326, 13 RBI) and Drakulich (.289, 12 RBI) were among the top run-producers.
"We had four home runs in the tournament and guys who didn't expect to hit came through," Drakulich said. "I think we found out where some guys are going to fit in this spring and we've definitely developed some pitching."
Darby finished at 12-15 overall last spring in a rare sub-.500 season after winning Division I district titles in 2007 and 2008.