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Post 159 Wins First Home Game

Maffe needs just 83 pitches in complete game

Photo by Kim North St. Clairsville Post 159 pitcher Chance Maffe needed just 83 pitches to throw a complete game in a 3-1 win over New Philadelphia.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Home sweet home.

After playing its first seven games on the road, St. Clairsville Post 159 returned to the friendly confines of Memorial Park Wednesday night with a 3-1 victory over visiting New Philadelphia Post 139. It marked the third win this season over the Tuscarawas County crew.

Bellaire senior-to-be Chance Maffe went the distance on the mound, striking out just two and walking only one. He scattered six hits while recording nine groundball outs, six flyball outs, two popouts and a pair of liners.

“Chance was pitching to contact. We’ve got a great defense behind him and they made some really good plays tonight,” Post 159 manager Mike Muklewicz said. “Drew Sefsick made three or four good plays at third base.”

Maffe needed just 83 pitches (52 strikes) to go the distance. He threw nine pitches in three different innings to keep the pitch count down.

“Eighty-three isn’t bad for seven innings,” Muklewicz noted. “He did a good job of keeping the hitters off balance.”

St. Clairsville (6-2) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Kaden Banal legged out an infield single while leading off. He moved to second on Mason Myers’ single to center and stole third before Will Balgo laced a run-scoring single up the middle.

New Philadelphia (4-7) drew even in the top of the fourth on an RBI double to deep left by Gavin Blake.

Post 159 regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Jake Heatherington reached on an error leading off and raced to third on Dylan Gregorcic’s bloop single down the right field line. With one out, Banal singled to left-center as Heatherington and Gregorcic, who had stolen second, both scored, making it 3-1.

“We were hitting at-them balls and I feel like we stranded a lot of runners,” Muklewicz said. “It just takes something to fall to get something started. It just didn’t happen tonight.”

St. Clairsville left seven runners on base, with four in scoring position.

“I guess that’s not too bad,” Muklewicz said.

Maffe retired seven of the final eight batters he faced.

“It was good to be back home. We lost a pair of tough one-run decisions in Myrtle Beach to a couple of pretty good teams,” Muklewicz added. “We’re starting to get into a groove.”

Post 159 remains home tonight as Jefferson County Teramana Post 33 visits. St. Clairsville makes the return trip to Jefferson County on Sunday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.

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