LANCASTER, Ohio — Twice was nice.
The Post 39 Rangers picked up their sixth and seventh consecutive victories of the season on Sunday afternoon with twin-bill decisions of 4-3 and 14-13 over Lancaster Post 11 in a pair of American Legion Baseball contests at Beavers Field in Fairfield County.
The Rangers (7-2) led wire-to-wire in Game 1 after building leads of 1-0, 2-0 and 3-2 through three innings of play, then doubled their advantage out to 4-2 through five complete before Post 11 rallied in the sixth to end up one run short.
Post 39 fell behind 5-1 midway through the second inning of Game 2, but the Rangers rallied with seven scores in home half of the second en route to an 8-5 cushion — a lead that Post 39 would never relinquish.
The Rangers extended the lead to 12-7 through five and 14-10 after six complete, then Lancaster scored three runs in the top of the seventh before ultimately running out of outs.
Post 39 put together 27 total hits in the doubleheader sweep, but also had three of the four errors on the afternoon. Post 11 also stranded 21 runners on base in two games, while the Rangers left on 11 on the bags total.
Billy Harmon opened the day with a leadoff homer to left for what proved to be the eventual game-winner in Game 1. Miles Williams doubled and eventually scored on a passed ball to give the Rangers a 2-0 edge through an inning and a half of play.
Carter Smith increased the lead out to three with a two-out double to left-center in the top of the third, allowing Harmon to come in from second base.
Post 11 cut the lead down to a run in the home half of the third as Piko and Henry both scored on a two-base error that allowed Dickerson to reach safely.
The score remained that way until the top of the fifth as Carter Smith singled home Wes Smith with two away, doubling the cushion out to 4-2.
Mirgon tripled to start the bottom of the sixth and later scored on a one-out single from Pechar, trimming the deficit down to a run.
Post 11 mustered only two baserunners the rest of the way, one of which caught stealing second for the final out of the game.
The Rangers outhit the hosts by a 9-8 overall margin and also committed the only error of the contest. Post 11 stranded seven runners on base, while the guests left only five on the bags.
Coltin Parker was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two unearned runs, five hits and two walks over four innings while striking out three. Mason Hanning worked the final three innings of relief, surrendering one earned run, three hits and a walk while fanning one.
Mirgon took the loss for Post 11 after surrendering three earned runs, nine hits and zero walks over seven innings while striking out eight.
Harmon, Carter Smith and Wyatt Hoover led Post 39 with two hits apiece, followed by Williams, Hanning and Wes Smith with a safety each. Carter Smith posted a game-high two RBIs in the victory.
Piko, Henry, Dickerson, Wolfe, Mirgon, Pechar, Burgess and George had a hit apiece in the opening setback.
Trailing 5-1 entering the home half of the second of Game 2, the Rangers sent 10 batters to the plate — which resulted in seven runs on seven hits.
After a Harmon doubled knocked in two for a 5-4 contest, Harmon eventual came home with the game-tying run following a Williams grand slam to left-center. Wes Smith and Carter Smith also scored on the four-bagger, giving the Rangers a permanent lead at 8-5.
Post 11 closed to within a run after the top of the fifth, but the Rangers answered with four scores in the home half of the frame for a 12-7 advantage. Post 39 produced four hits and had two walks during that eight-batter inning.
Harmon doubled home both Colton Reynolds and Ben Wolfe in the bottom of the sixth, which happened to get sandwiched around a pair of three-run outbursts by Lancaster in the sixth and seventh frames.
Post 11 also had the bases loaded in the seventh when the final out was recorded.
Post 39 outhit the guests by an 18-11 overall margin and also committed two of the three errors in the game. Lancaster stranded 14 runners on base, while the hosts left only six on the bags.
Hanning was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two runs (two earned), two hits and five walks over three innings of relief while striking out four. Hanning was the second of five different hurlers used by the Rangers.
Wilson took the loss for Post 11 after allowing eight earned runs, eight hits and one walk over 1.2 frames while fanning two. Lancaster used four different pitchers in the night cap.
Carter Smith led Post 39 with four hits, followed by Parker and Brody Jeffers with three safeties apiece. Williams and Harmon also added two hits each, with Hanning, Reynolds, Wyatt Hoover and Wes Smith adding a hit apiece as well.
Harmon, Jeffers and Williams each drove in four RBIs apiece, while Parker knocked in a pair of runs.
Pechar led Post 11 with three hits and added three RBIs, while Henry had two hits and a team-high four RBIs. Crist also had two hits and scored three times.
Post 39 returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Ripley at Meigs High School. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.