TROY — The Napoleon American Legion Post #300 River Bandits baseball team closed out its tournament in Troy with two wins in its final three games, beating Hillsboro 12-5 Saturday and Cincinnati 6-2 Sunday.
Napoleon fell 5-3 to Columbus in the second game Saturday.
In the first game, against Hillsboro, Caleb Frank (Fairview) allowed four runs in five innings, striking out five. Levi Gonyer (Otsego) tossed the final two innings.
Jeron Williams (Archbold) led the River Bandits’ offense with a 3 for 4 showing, knocking in three runs, while Hunter Bostater (Fairview) added a pair of hits. Axel Shanks (Patrick Henry), Zac Brickel (Hicksville), Nate Vold (Defiance) and Christian Petersen (Patrick Henry) each added a hit for Napoleon.
The River Bandits scored five runs in the second inning, two in the fourth, five in the fifth to make up its scoring, while Hillsboro plated two runs in each of the first two innings to make up its offense.
A pair of late runs in game two against Columbus wasn’t enough as the River Bandits dropped Saturday’s second game 5-3 against a Braves team full of college baseball talent.
Bryer Bentley (Montpelier) tossed two innings, allowing two runs, before being lifted for Gonyer. Gonyer allowed two more runs in 2 2/3 innings before Williams recorded the final four outs for the River Bandits, allowing one run.
Brickel and Landon Willeman (Napoleon) each went 1 for 4, while Shanks went 2 for 3 and Dakota Benner (Montpelier) 1 for 3.
The Braves have plenty of college talent on the roster in players such as Andrew Hammond (Indiana Tech), Brett Yutzy (Ohio Dominican), Carson Ward (Capital University), Jacob Mulhman (Wittenberg University) and Justin Grubb (Ohio Wesleyan), among others. The team is comprised entirely of college baseball players, providing a good test for the River Bandits as the team prepares to face some of the top American Legion teams in the nation at tournaments in Alaska and Minnesota later on this summer.
Columbus scored one run in every inning after the first, while Napoleon plated one in the third and two in the fifth but could not keep up with the talented Braves’ lineup for the team’s second win of the day.
The River Bandits closed out its tournament Sunday against the Cincinnati River Dawgs, winning 6-2 behind a strong start from Shanks on the mound.
Shanks went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two strikeouts before handing the ball to Willeman, who tossed two scoreless to finish the win for Napoleon.
Brickel and Willeman each went 2 for 4 with a run driven in, while Brandon Shafer (Defiance) and Williams each added a knock and one RBI.
Napoleon scored one run in the first, one run in the second, three runs in the third and one run in the fifth, while Cincinnati plated both of its runs in the first frame.
Napoleon improved to 6-4 after the weekend and faces a doubleheader at Lancaster tomorrow, starting at 5:30 p.m.
The River Bandits then travel for a rematch against Sidney Wendesday before returning to Defiance for back-to-back doubleheaders against Stevensville Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday’s contests begin at 2 p.m., while the two games Sunday are scheduled for first pitch at 10 a.m.
Both days will be played at Defiance College and will be the last home games for the River Bandits until July 25 when Napoleon hosts Van Wert.