The Post 43 Jackson Giants hosted the Chris Hodges Memorial Tournament over the weekend. Eight teams made the trip to Jackson to honor the memory of a local baseball legend who touched so many lives during his playing and coaching days.
The tourney featured plenty of quality baseball Thursday through Sunday. The Kansas Curve and Gillette Rider proved the class of the bunch that competed over the course of four days. The hometown Giants were game but just didn’t see the results they maybe deserved.
Green River 5, Jackson 4
After getting blown out in the tournament’s opening day, the Giants hooked up with the Green River Knights in a winnable game for the hometowners. It was a back-and-forth contest all night, and Jackson had multiple opportunities to put the game away, but errors and miscues cost Post 43.
Seven errors were too much to overcome despite a strong pitching performance from Grant Parkin and bats that finally came to life for the Giants.
As poorly as the Giants played in the field, they had more than one chance to put the game away. Jackson let a 1-run lead slip away in the top of the 7th. Then, with the table set for a walkoff win, the Giants again faltered.
A double by Steven Ashurts—who went 3 for 4 on the night—had Jackson in the catbird seat with runners at second and third and nobody out. But Knights reliever Gabe Patton slammed the door with three straight strikeouts of Matt Fisher, Aaron Huggins, and Lukas Gralund to end the threat.
Green Canyon 9, Jackson 8
The Giants lost another close one Saturday night against the Green Canyon Huskers. Both teams came charging out of the box. Green Canyon plated 3 in the top half of the 1st, only to watch Jackson respond with 4 of their own in the home half of the inning.
The 2nd inning saw 4 more runs scored—3 by the Huskers, 1 by Jackson—to make it a 6-4 Green Canyon lead. Jackson could get no closer than a 9-8 final as the game was called for time after 6 innings.
Kade Foulke (1-4) took the loss for Jackson, allowing 3 earned runs on 7 hits. Austin VanSkike was solid in 3 innings of relief.
Parker Bleggi (2 for 3), Aaron Huggins (2 for 2, 3 RBI), and Connor Lang (1 for 3, 3 RBI) paced the Giants’ offense.
Kansas 19, Jackson 3
Post 43 ran out of gas by Sunday afternoon. In the final game of the Chris Hodges Memorial Tournament, the Giants actually led 2-1 after the 1st inning but the Curve took control from there on out.
Bleggi, along with Ayden Gralund and Matt Fisher (Jackson’s hottest bat right now) led the offense to 3 runs.
Steven Ashurts (2-1) had a rough outing, surrendering 11 earned runs on 12 hits to take the loss. He also walked 4 batters in 3 innings of work. Aaron Huggins and Bridger Hammond were similarly greeted by the Curve bats.
The Giants fall to 7-22 on the season, riding a 9-game losing skid. Post 43 heads to Bozeman for a tournament this weekend where they will face Couer d Alene, Fairfield (California), Helena, and the East Side Baseball Club of Washington State.