At just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday, American Legion baseball was back in action in Daviess County, after roughly a decade hiatus from the Washington Sports Complex.
Although the Post 121 and 120 Washington Freedom lost 14-3 to Terre Haute Wayne Newton Post 346, 14-3, everyone seemed very glad Legion ball was back.
“It is a beautiful night,” said Washington manager Jeff Truelove. “It is great to get underway and the feedback has been great. The high school coaches, especially Hatchet coach Steve Reed, have been so supportive. I am glad we have it going now.”
Washington did have an early 2-0 lead after the end of the second inning, however, Terre Haute picked up five runs in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth, before getting five more in the top of the eighth, mostly on a three-run blast from TH’s Sam Wolfe.
Recent Loogootee graduate Bryce Wilz took the loss for Washington while TJ Tucker picked up the win. Washington did scratch out seven hits but were hurt by six errors.
Jalen Hyde and Hunter Thurston had one hit each for Washington, while Brandon Wilz had two hits.
Former Hatchet Hyde was excited to see Legion come to Washington, as he had previously played two years in Bloomfield.
“It has been nice talking with and meeting players from other schools,” said Hyde. “It is a lot easier not having to go up there every day.
What he likes best is the level of competition.
“It is always going to be competitive and you are always going to see good pitching,” Hyde added.
One of the people most excited to see Legion ball return to Washington was Post 346 manager John Hayes. Hayes has been manager since 1985 and said they always enjoyed coming to Washington.
“We are ticked to death from a statewide and local level to have a team back,” said Hayes. “It is great for us because it is somebody we can play in the middle of the week and not have to drive too far and we know it will be quality competition.
“It is great for the kids here because it will give them a chance to face college kids who are coming back, as well as some of the best high school players.”
The Freedom will travel to Newburgh on Tuesday.
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