Before their game on Wednesday, July 9, Sandwich American Legion Post 188 and Whitman Post 22 agreed that any ball hit over the right field fence at Keith Field in Sagamore would be considered a ground rule double. At 234 feet with about a 20-foot fence, the short porch in right was a little too close.
By the second inning Sandwich had sent two balls over the right field fence. Post 188 had hit six doubles by the fifth inning, but some stayed in the park. The big blast of the game landed somewhere else.
Johnny Stanton stepped to the plate in the fifth with runners on first and second and launched a monster shot that sailed about 20 feet over the 315 feet sign in center field. The three-run home run gave Post 188 a 12-2 lead and the win in five innings.
Nick Couhig got the start for Post 188 and went the distance, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out eight and walked one. Couhig allowed a run in the top of the first on a couple of hits, but then buckled down, allowing just one hit over the next three innings.
Sandwich got down to business in the bottom of the first scoring twice. Luke Chevalier singled and Stanton was hit by a pitch. Collin Russell then knocked in Chevalier and Stanton scored on a double by Finn Swenson.
Post 188 opened the game up in the second with Mike Couhig, Emmit Kelliher and Brady Doherty stringing together three doubles. Nick Couhig and Chevalier both followed with base hits as Sandwich pulled out to a 7-1 lead.
Two more runs in the bottom of the fourth came on base hits by Nick Couhig, Russell and Swenson, with Stanton adding a double.
Whitman made it 9-2 in the top of the fifth, but the stage was set for Stanton. A leadoff base hit by Zach Bannon in the bottom of the inning, followed by a single by Kevin Marsh and another by Nick Couhig loaded the bases. A double play by Post 22 erased the runner at second and left Post 188 with men on first and third with two outs and Stanton at the plate.
There was no doubt when the ball left Stanton’s bat that it was gone, well out toward the railroad tracks beyond center field. The three-run home run sealed the win in five innings by the 10-run rule.
“That was a great way to end the game for Johnny Stanton,” Post 188 coach K.J. Kozens said. “I think he just wanted to end it and when he could he did it with that big three run shot. We’re playing well as a team right now and this was a good team win. We have a tough stretch coming up. We need to stay focused and keep playing hard.”
Post 188 (11-3-2) travels to Siever Field in Plymouth for a game at 7 PM on Friday, July 11, against Marshfield Post 88.
On Monday, July 7, four members of Sandwich Post 188 made the trip to Rockland for the third annual District 10 American Legion All-Star game. Nick Couhig, Stanton, Swenson and Marsh represented Post 188 the East Division in its 8-2 victory over the West Division. Couhig pitched one inning, surrendering one unearned run. Stanton was hit by a pitch and came around to score, Marsh played three innings in left field and Swenson worked behind the plate for two innings.