Two pitching gems put the Washington Post 218 Seniors in the championship game of their own tournament Sunday for the second consecutive year.
Post 218 (13-7) got a four-hit shutout from Aaron Meyer in the quarterfinals against Creve Coeur (1-0) and a five-hit shutout by Spencer Juergens (6-0) against Jackson in the event semifinals.
“We were a little flat but Aaron Meyer gave us a strong shutout pitching performance to help us win 1-0,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “We didn’t swing the bats very well, but were able to put a few hits together to score the only run we needed.”
Juergens followed with another strong performance and has not allowed a run yet this season.
“Spencer Juergens gave us another great outing against a very good Jackson team that had a 17-2 record coming into the game,” Gardner said.
One of the two birthday boys, Noah Borgerding, had the biggest hit of the day, a home run against Jackson.
“Noah Borgerding had a big solo home run to open the scoring and that really helped us with our confidence at the plate as were able to put up five more runs and cruise to a 6-0 victory,” Gardner said. “We also really played great defense with diving catches in the outfield by Noah and Austin (Finder).”
Washington had a tougher task after having its quarterfinal game against Creve Coeur washed out by a big storm. The rain hit late in the Jackson-Manchester quarterfinal game, but that contest was far enough along to be declared over when tournament officials realized the rain wasn’t ending any time soon.
“The rain on Saturday night forced us to play our first bracket game against Creve Coeur on Sunday morning,” Gardner said.
That pushed the last quarterfinal, between Post 218 and Creve Coeur, to Sunday morning.
Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, Gardner opted to change the lineup a bit, putting Meyer on the mound in place of Juergens. It turned out to be a move which strengthened things for both games.
Meyer went the distance, needing just 80 pitches to earn the win. He allowed four hits and didn’t walk a batter while fanning five Post 397 hitters.
Washington needed Meyer’s arm as Creve Coeur’s Connor Kraus went the distance as well. He allowed one run on six hits while not walking anyone. He struck out five Washington hitters.
The lone run came in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, birthday celebrant Noah Borgerding bashed a double to center field.
Juergens followed with a single into left field and Nathan Hillermann drove in the run with a hit to center.
Hillermann had two of the six Washington hits in the game, both singles. He drove in the run.
Borgerding doubled, the only extra-base hit of the game, and scored.
Sam Katzung and Justin Baylard also had singles.
Ross Seitter stole a base.
For Creve Coeur, Krause helped his own cause with two singles. Sam Riley and Cody Mayse also had singles.
Mayse and Austin Mischel put down bunts. Dante Edwards stole a base.
Post 218 played error-free ball, but Creve Coeur made two fielding miscues. Washington stranded seven runners and Creve Coeur left four on base.
After West defeated the Metro East Bears in the opening semifinal, Washington took on Jackson with Juergens on the mound.
And the Post 218 pitcher did his part, going the distance while allowing five hits and no walks. He struck out six Jackson batters in the win.
Washington gave Juergens all of the support he needed on one swing of the bat in the fourth inning. Borgerding celebrated his birthday with a home run to left center field.
In the fifth, Washington added a second run in the fifth inning. Bollmann led off with a single and moved to third on a double by Finder. Meyer drilled a fly ball to center and that was deep enough to score Bollmann.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the fifth. Jackson got a double to start the inning and then moved the runner to third on a one-out single.
With runners on the corners, Juergens struck out the next batter as Jackson tried a double steal. It seemed that Jackson scored a run and advanced the runner, but the umpire called batter’s interference on the play and declared the runner going to second out as well, negating the run.
After an argument, the Jackson third base coach was ejected. Washington continued Jackson’s troubles in the sixth with four additional insurance runs as Borgerding, Hillermann, Mitch Hammack and Seitter crossed the plate.
For the game, Finder and Seitter each had two hits.
Finder doubled and drove in one run. Seitter stole a base, scored and drove in a run.
Borgerding had one hit, the home run, scored twice and drove in one.
Bollmann singled, scored and walked.
Hammack scored and drove in a run while adding a sacrifice.
Hillermann had one hit, one run and two walks.
Katzung singled. Meyer contributed a sacrifice fly.