AUGUSTA — It isn’t often a pitcher will win three games in six days, and it’s even more rare when two of those are complete games.

After starting and winning Saturday, and relieving and winning Tuesday, Augusta’s Ryan Minoty was at it again Thursday, against Post 51. Minoty limited one of the best offenses in Zone 2 to four hits and four walks while striking out nine in Augusta’s 5-4 American Legion baseball victory at Morton Field.

“If I’m feeling good, I never want to come out. It doesn’t matter if I’ve thrown 200 pitches,” said Minoty, who threw 132 pitches on Thursday. “I’m always sore the next day. If I throw 35 or 100, it doesn’t matter.”

Augusta won its ninth straight gave to improve to 9-2 and move into first place in Zone 2. Post 51 falls into second place at 8-2. Both of its loses were by one run.

Oddly, Post 51 did not have an RBI on Thursday. One run scored on a wild pitch and the other three came on the “You get in a rundown while I score from third” play. Twice, Post 51 ended up advancing both runners, while the other time Augusta got one out at the expense of a run.

While Augusta coach Ray Vallee said Post 51 “ran the bases on us like we were a Little League team,” he also pointed out that it’s not like Augusta has had a chance to go over such plays.

“That’s the difference between high school and Legion,” Vallee said. “During the high school season, you practice three days a week and you have games three days a week. Legion, you don’t practice. We’re really looking to next (week) before the Zone tournament, so we can put (in) our first and thirds, our bunt defenses, our pickoff moves. If nine guys aren’t on the same page, it isn’t going to work.”

Post 51 stole two runs in the top of the first inning and another in the third, while Augusta had a runner thrown out by Post 51 center fielder Cale Knox in the first and left the bases loaded in the third. Augusta broke through and went ahead for good in the fourth, when doubles by Chandler Shostak and Erik Ogren sandwiched around a walk to Luke Duncklee gave Augusta two runs and a 4-3 lead.

Augusta’s final run came in the fifth, when Corey Clarke doubled home Corey Lapierre before Post 51 reliever Shawn Russell came in with one out and shut the door with runners on second and third.

Minoty held the lead, although Post 51 came close in the top of the sixth with Knox on first and the score 5-3. Nate Veilleux took a shot at the short porch in right field, but Ogren backpedaled and made the catch just in front of the fence. In the seventh, Minoty got through a two-out walk to Sam Dexter for the win.

“Minoty, I thought, pitched an outstanding game,” said Post 51 assistant coach Tom Dexter, filling in while coach Paul Jacobs was at work. “He’s a college pitcher. He has good stuff, good command, compete — everything you want out of a kid.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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