Continuing to march through Ninth District competition, the Washington Post 218 Junior Legion team won five games Friday through Monday and reached the 20-win mark for the season.
Washington (20-3, 14-1) opened the weekend with a 13-0 home win over O’Fallon Friday at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
On Saturday, Post 218 hosted Sullivan and North and took both games easily.
In the Sullivan game, Washington won 10-0. Against North, Washington took a 9-1 victory.
“We were able to pick up two more district wins on Saturday playing in the heat of the day against Sullivan and the North Knights,” Kleekamp said.
Washington rallied to an 11-7 win over the host St. Peters squad Sunday.
“It was a bit of a wild one, but we were able to pick up another big district win in extra innings,” Kleekamp said.
On Monday, Post 218 won at Warrenton, 9-2.
Kleekamp said clutch hitting has been there for Post 218 in recent games.
“The approach of our hitters has really improved over the last few weeks,” Kleekamp said. “We need to continue to build on that and put even more runs on the board. We have to be able to put teams away early if possible. You cannot let any team in the Ninth District hang around. Every team is capable of putting a rally together and have the ability to fight back and bite you.”
Washington hosts St. Peters in a Ninth District game Tuesday at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
After that, Post 218 hits the road. Washington plays St. Charles at Blanchette Park Thursday at 6 p.m.
On Saturday, Post 218 will play Eureka at Ellisville at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, Post 218 visits Elsberry for a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.
And Washington plays at Sullivan Monday at 6 p.m.
Post 218 scored four runs in the second and nine in the fourth for an easy victory over O’Fallon Friday night.
Post 218 outhit O’Fallon in the game, 10-3 and took advantage of four O’Fallon errors. Washington made two errors in the contest.
“Everybody was swinging a hot bat Friday against O’Fallon,” Kleekamp said. “We came out a little slow early in the game, we were able to push four runners across in the second inning to get things going.”
Sam Katzung led the offense with three hits. Kevin Birk and Teddy Harrison each had two hits in the game. Todd Kleekamp, Garrett Schoenfeld and Grant Ruediger each had one hit.
Ross Seitter scored three times. Tyler Straatmann, Birk and Harrison each had two runs. Kleekamp, Katzung, Aaron Meyer, Schoenfeld and Ruediger scored once.
Katzung drove in four runs while Kleekamp had three RBIs and Birk and Schoenfeld each had two RBIs. Harrison drove in one run.
Seitter drew two walks. Birk and Meyer each walked once.
Schoenfeld and Harrison doubled while Birk tripled.
Kleekamp added a sacrifice. Birk and Meyer were hit by pitches.
“We have really improved our mental approach at the plate over the last week,” Kleekamp said. “The boys really have been more focused while hitting. They are taking better at bats and the results have been evident. I feel that we are improving and getting better each game offensively.”
Peter Coulter was the winning pitcher, allowing three hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out two.
“Pete Coulter got the start on the mound and delivered another quality outing,” Kleekamp said. “He shut out O’Fallon and was extremely economical with his pitchers. Over 60 percent of the pitches he threw tonight were strikes.”
Washington’s first game on Saturday was against Sullivan.
Post 218 jumped on top with six runs in the second inning and added single tallies in the third and fourth frames. Washington ended it with two runs in the sixth.
Post 218 outhit Sullivan, 7-2. Sullivan committed four errors to Washington’s one.
Harrison went the distance, striking out 10 Sullivan batters while allowing two hits and no walks.
“Teddy Harrison got his first start of the year for us,” Kleekamp said. “Teddy normally is a relief pitcher for us, but with all of the games we had throughout the weekend, we had to have him start against Sullivan, and he didn’t disappoint. Teddy had a great game retiring 10 batters in a row at one point. He kept Sullivan runners off of the bases the majority of the game, which kept us off the field and out of the heat.”
Scott Byrne led Washington with two hits.
“He was able to put some good swings on the ball today and was an integral part of our win,” Kleekamp said.
Birk, Katzung, Meyer, Schoenfeld and Brian Trigg each had one hit.
Byrne scored three runs while Trigg ended with two. Seitter, Coulter, Birk, Katzung and Schoenfeld each scored once.
Katzung drove in a pair.
“Sam Katzung continued his solid season offensively with two more RBIs,” Kleekamp said.
Birk and Meyer each had one RBI.
Seitter, Coulter, Birk and Byrne each walked twice. Trigg walked once.
Byrne doubled and Katzung tripled. Schoenfeld was hit by a pitch.
Schoenfeld and Trigg stole two bases apiece. Seitter, Coulter, Meyer and Byrne each had one stolen base.
The second home game of the day against North went all seven innings. Post 218 scored one run in the first and four in the second.
North tallied its run in the third, but Washington added two more aces in the bottom of that inning. Washington added a run in the fourth and another in the sixth.
Post 218 outhit North, 11-3. North made all four errors in the game.
“The boys were able to battle the heat as well as a quality pitcher to get our second win of the day,” Kleekamp said.
Katzung and Coulter each had two hits to pace Washington’s balanced attack. Seitter, Kleekamp, Birk, Meyer, Schoenfeld, Straatmann and Harrison had one hit apiece. Birk and Coulter doubled while Coulter also tripled.
“Pete Coulter had a great day swing the bat going 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored,” Kleekamp said. “He also walked once as well. Pete is really swinging a hot bat right now. His swing has gotten more consistent over the last week, and he is really hitting the ball well right now. Tyler Straatmann also pitched in with two RBIs and a run scored as well.”
Katzung, Coulter and Schoenfeld each scored twice. Seitter, Kleekamp and Straatmann scored once.
Birk and Straatmann each drove in two runs. Kleekamp, Coulter and Schoenfeld drove in one run apiece.
Seitter, Birk, Meyer, Coulter, Schoenfeld and Straatmann walked.
Seitter, Kleekamp, Birk, Coulter and Harrison stole bases in the game.
Ruediger was the winning pitcher, going the distance. He allowed one run on three hits and four walks while striking out seven.
“Grant Ruediger led the way for us in game two,” Kleekamp said. “He really was good on the mound today pitching a complete game. He allowed one run on only three hits while striking out seven. Grant did issue four walks, but he was able to work around them to give us seven strong innings. We really needed Grant to go deep into the game to save a few arms for our next few games, and he gave us just what we needed.”
Post 218 outslugged St. Peters on the road Sunday afternoon, winning in eight innings, 11-7.
Each team scored twice in the first inning. St. Peters took the lead with one run in the fourth and another run in the sixth.
In the seventh inning, things got wild.
Post 218 scored four runs to take a 6-4 lead, but couldn’t hold on as St. Peters tied it in the bottom of the seventh, 6-6.
“We went into the top of the seventh inning down 4-2, and were able to rally to take a 6-4 lead,” Kleekamp said. “The big blow came from Pete Coulter who smacked a double into the left center field gap to bring around two runs giving us the lead.”
In the eighth, Washington scored five times to go up, 11-6. However, St. Peters wasn’t done, scoring once in the bottom of the inning.
“Our guys didn’t give up and were able to take advantage of a pitcher who couldn’t throw strikes late in the top of the eighth,” Kleekamp said. “We took a lot of quality at-bats late in the game and were able to take advantage of St. Peters’ mistakes. Good teams are able to hang in there long enough and take advantage when the opportunity presents itself, and we were able to do that tonight. We probably could have done that a little earlier in the game to make it a little easier on ourselves.”
Each team had six hits in the game and made four errors.
Walks played a huge role in the game. Washington batters walked 14 times while St. Peters drew nine walks in the game.
Katzung and Trigg each had two hits in the game. Kleekamp and Coulter posted one hit each.
Katzung and Coulter each doubled.
Seitter, Kleekamp, Katzung and Coulter each scored twice. Birk, Meyer and Harrison scored once.
Katzung drove in four runs while Coulter added two RBIs. Birk, Trigg and Straatmann each had one RBI.
Straatmann walked three times while Seitter, Kleekamp and Birk drew two walks apiece. Katzung, Meyer, Coulter, Trigg and Harrison each earned one walk.
Kleekamp was hit by a pitch while Birk had a sacrifice. Coulter stole a base.
Justin Schuler pitched the first six innings, allowing four runs on three hits and seven walks. He struck out four.
Straatmann earned the win, pitching the final two innings. He allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks.
Washington completed the regular season sweep against its northern neighbor Monday, 9-2.
“We played one of our better games tonight in Warrenton,” Kleekamp said. “We were able to put three runs on the board in the first. Warrenton came back with two in the bottom, but we were able to shut them out the rest of the game.”
Meyer and Schoenfeld pitched for Post 218.
“Aaron Meyer settled in and delivered a solid outing going six innings,” Kleekamp said. “Garrett Schoenfeld came in the game in the seventh to seal the deal.”
Coulter doubled and tripled, driving in three. Seitter picked up two hits and a walk. Luke Knight added an RBI single.
“We continued to hit the ball well,” Kleekamp said. “The only downside of the game was that we left a lot of runners on base. We did a great job of getting runners on, but we could have gotten a few more clutch hits.”
Kleekamp hopes Post 218 can continue its momentum into games later this week.
“Overall, it was a well-played game and is something we can build on going into games against St. Peters and St. Charles this week,” said Kleekamp.