Ospreys now 5-1 with latest American Legion baseball victory over Heat

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comJune 13, 2014 

The pitching was a potential mess, the bench empty and the weather threatening, but the Beaufort Ospreys closed their long week with a strong finish against the Lowcountry Heat.

Post 9/207 won 11-7 Thursday, ending the week with two victories and improving to 5-1 after dropping a heartbreaker on Monday.

After losing a four-run lead to Goose Creek, Beaufort responded with a win on the road in a non-league game at Lake City.

And on Thursday with a skeleton crew, the Ospreys again came out ahead in a muggy, high-scoring affair.

"I feel like we're on a roll; we're getting it going again," said Beaufort leadoff man Rome Wallace, who was 3 for 5 and scored twice. "That loss to Goose Creek was pretty hard, but it kind of knocked us back in sense."

Beaufort starter Thomas Smith threw a nine-inning complete game for his third appearance of the week, after throwing in limited outings against Goose Creek and Lake City.

Ospreys coach Mike Smith had few other choices.

The Ospreys were without several key position players who were on the road playing travel ball. The nine players available Thursday formed a makeshift defense that changed on the fly.

Wallace ended up at shortstop, a position he had not played since seventh grade. Several others played out of their typical positions.

"You just have to do with what you have," Thomas Smith said. "Even when we got down, we stayed the course."

Coaches didn't know until about 2 p.m. Thursday whether they would have enough players to avoid a forfeit. Marshall Daise came through by committing to play after having to miss some time for work, Mike Smith said.

After a rocky start, the group did enough to earn a third victory over the Heat. A five-run fifth inning before an hour-long lightning delay helped blow it open for Beaufort.

With a rising pitch count, Heat starter Reese Irwin was replaced by Spencer Stewart. Irwin had only allowed two earned runs of the Ospreys' nine while he was in the game.

Thomas Smith pitched into his 13th inning of the week Thursday but was sharp late. He struck out the side in the eighth and stranded two runners with a strikeout in the ninth.

"Our best option was him to go nine tonight," Mike Smith said. "And then let him rest."

Follow assistant sports editor Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.

Ospreys 11, Heat 7

Heat 202 020 100 -- 7 12 6

Ospreys 302 050 00x -- 11 10 6

WP: Thomas Smith 9 IP, 7 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 8 K, 2 HBP

LP: Reese Irwin 4 2/3 IP, 9 R, 2 ER, 5 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K

Top hitters: Heat -- Caleb Workman 2 for 4, 3B, SB, 2 R; Dalton Shaw 2 for 3, 2 RBIs; Nick Lucchesi 2 for 3, SB, 2 R. Ospreys -- Jesse Sanborn 2 for 4, 2B, BB; Rome Wallace 3 for 5; Andrew Jezewski 1 for 1, 3 HBP, BB.

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