That’s what Rogers Post coach Dave Jordan tells his players on a regular basis. That old cliche hasn’t been more true for his ball club than it has during the final week of the regular season. 

Despite two extra-inning games in its past two contests, Rogers Post’s offense looked lively in a doubleheader sweep of Locke Mills on Thursday under the lights at Auburn Suburban Little League Complex. Rogers Post strung together 15 unanswered runs in Game 1, winning 15-1 to clinch a spot in the Zone 2 tournament. It completed the sweep with a 16-6 victory in five innings in Game 2. 

“We worked a few things in an extra hitting session yesterday,” Jordan said. “We made a few adjustments in some of our swing patterns the last couple days and the guys responded well hitting the ball. It was good to get some offense.” 

While Rogers Post has been part of back-to-back marathon games — nine innings Monday against Franklin County and 10 innings Tuesday against Pastime — the end to the regular season has been a sprint as well. Rogers Post is in the midst of playing six games in six days to end the regular season. 

It didn’t seem to bother the home team as Rogers Post (10-6) compiled 22 hits in the doubleheader sweep — 11 in each game. Brandon Varney finished 5-for-6 with three doubles, five RBIs and four runs scored, and Mike Hammond finished 5-for-9 with a home run, double and four RBIs to lead Rogers Post. 

“That was awesome,” Varney said. “We’ve been lacking that for most of the year. It felt good to finally hit the ball today.” 


Both victories involved comeback efforts. Locke Mills took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning of Game 1, only to see Rogers Post respond with 15 runs over the final four frames. Having been blanked the first time through the order, Rogers Post teed off on Locke Mills starting pitcher Caleb Clark the second time through the order. 

Hammond started the onslaught with a two-run home run. Varney, Micky Lawrence, Austin Cox and Jarod Plourde also contributed RBIs as Rogers Post scored three in the fourth, five in the fifth, one in the sixth and six in the seventh to clinch a playoff spot. Varney, Plourde and Lawrence all had two doubles each and Evan Raymond smacked a triple in the sixth. 

“We knew going into today that we still needed at least one win to get in,” Jordan said. “It was good that we were able to get that in Game 1. Game 2 our guys were able to go out and be relaxed and play and did a nice job.” 

Plourde earned the win on the mound in Game 1, striking out 13 while allowing just two hits. Plourde struck out four of the final five batters he faced. He recorded at least one strike out in all seven innings and struck out the side in the seventh. 

Plourde said having the run support helped. 

“When you have run support you can throw a little easier,” Plourde said. “You can stretch it out a little better. I felt like I was able to find more of the plate.” 


Rogers Post didn’t wait as long to get the bats going in Game 2, but it once again happened after Locke Mills grabbed the early lead. 

Kaine Hutchins gave Locke Mills a 1-0 lead with a solo shot to dead center field in the first. The road team followed with two more in the second. 

In response, Rogers Post brought 10 batters to the plate in the second and tallied five runs to build a 5-3 lead. Hammond, Lawrence and Varney delivered RBIs. 

“We just did what coach tells us: if you see a fastball, hit it,” Varney said. “The best way to hit a curveball is to hit the fastball.” 

Locke Mills (6-10) rallied to tie the contest in the third, only to see Rogers Post outscore it 11-1 the rest of the way. Six different players recorded hits for Rogers Post in Game 2 and nine different players recorded runs. Varney and Hammond each collected three hits. 

“We talk to the guys a lot about how baseball’s a marathon not a sprint,” Jordan said. “It’s an old cliche but something we focus on a lot. Our focus is on being relentless and working hard. The boys have some confidence right now that they keep getting guys on base. 

Rogers Post scored six runs in the seventh inning on just two hits. Three errors and two hit batters paved the way to the end of the mercy-rule shortened contest. 

The silver lining for Locke Mills is Highland Green’s loss to Smith Tobey earlier in the day. The two teams are now tied for the eighth and final playoff spot, though Highland Green owns the head-to-head tiebreaker. 

“We’ve got a nucleus of guys here that deserve to get in,” Locke Mills coach Bob Remington said. “I think this is a group of guys that are going to get what they deserve. That’s how I feel.” 

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