CONYERS - Conyers Post 77 went 2-2 over the weekend at a baseball tournament in Savannah.
After edging Savannah Chain 1-0 in its tournament opener Friday, Conyers split its two games on Saturday against two 18-and-under teams. Conyers wrapped up play Sunday, losing 3-2 in a nail-biter to the OTC Bearcats.
"I was very pleased with the play until the last day," Conyers Post 77 manager Eddie Bagwell said. "The first three games, we did every part of the game very well. We played good defense, we hit the ball well and we pitched really well. Sunday, we didn't catch the ball real well, we made six errors. That's been our nemesis all year long. When we don't take care of the ball, we lose.
"Our pitching and hitting has been coming around very nicely. We got good starts out of Clint Ogle, Kelvan Diaz, Patrick Jansen and Jake Dyer. We got relief out of Chase Ware, Bobby Coggins, Nick Matteen and Travis Tarleton. It was obvious that we were swinging the bats a lot better. We just couldn't finish the tournament with good defense, and that kind of came back to bite us."
On Saturday, Conyers kicked off the day with a 10-0 win over Prospects. Diaz got the win on the mound, allowing six hits and no runs in six innings of work. He also struck out five batters.
Conyers scored three runs in the top of the first inning off an RBI double by Tarleton and a two-run double by Diaz. Conyers added a run in the fourth to build a 4-0 lead before breaking the game open with a six-run sixth inning.
Conyers scored the runs off an RBI single by Coggins, a hit batsman with the bases loaded, a two-run double by Matteen and a two-run single by Tarleton.
At 10-0, the game was called after Prospects failed to score in the bottom of the sixth.
Later in the day, Conyers ran into some tough competition, falling 8-2 to Line Drives.
"They are an 18-and-under team that has 12 Division I players on it," Bagwell said. "They're good."
Chunk Smith accounted for both of Post 77's runs. Smith's fielder's choice with the bases loaded scored Tarleton in the bottom of the first. He also smacked a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth.
Conyers finished play Sunday, losing a one-run game to the OTC Bearcats.
Conyers fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning before Smith's RBI single made it 1-1 in the top of the second.
The Bearcats regained the lead in the bottom of the second, but Conyers tied it up again in the top of the fourth.
That was as close as Conyers got as the Bearcats scored again in the bottom of the sixth and held on for the 3-2 win.
Despite an overall mediocre performance at the tournament, two Conyers players really caught the attention of one coach.
"Chunk Smith and Taylor Lamb both had good tournaments. Coach (Carlton) Hardy was really impressed with them," Bagwell said. "He liked the way they hustled and the way they went about their business, and he invited both of them to come play at Savannah State next year, so I was real happy for them.
"Chunk swung the bat extremely well all weekend. He also threw out the only base runner that tried to steal on him all weekend. Taylor Lamb also swung the bat extremely well and played pretty good at third base. I have no complaints. They both have an opportunity now to play college baseball, and hopefully they'll make the most of it."
Conyers returns to action Thursday at Loganville in a make-up game.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.