By Craig Vonder Haar
Missourian Sports Writer
Making the most of their opportunities, the Washington Post 218 Juniors needed extra innings to knock off Festus Post 253 Wednesday at Ronsick Field.
Washington broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game, 4-3.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but a win is a win,” said Post 218 Manager Phillip Kleekamp. “It was a quality non-district win to get us started for a long stretch of district games.”
Post 218 (15-3) opened a 3-0 lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
“We jumped out to an early 3-0 after the first inning, but weren’t able to put another run on the board until extra innings,” Kleekamp said. “David McNeal and Aaron Meyer had the big hits in the bottom of the first to push our first three runs across.”
Festus tied the game 3-3 with two runs in the top of the sixth inning and one in the seventh.
Post 218 won the game in the bottom of the eighth inning.
“We were able to get our leadoff man, Todd Kleekamp, on by reaching on an error and advancing to second on the throw. A balk moved him to third with no outs. Sam Katzung drew a walk,” Kleekamp said. “After a strikeout, Pete Coulter came up and we attempted the suicide squeeze. Festus read the play and pitched out, forcing Kleekamp out at home. Katzung advanced to third on the play and came around on a wild pitch to win the game.”
Washington managed just five hits, but scored four runs for the win.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to push many runs across. Our approach has improved vastly over the course of the season,” Kleekamp said. “We were able to get runners on base, but we just couldn’t get the big hit to blow the game open.”
Anthony Chance got the start on the mound for Post 218 in a no-decision. In 5.2 innings, he allowed two runs on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
“Anthony gave us another quality start. I don’t think Anthony had his best stuff, but he was able to hold down a good-hitting team for five innings,” Kleekamp said. “Festus didn’t hit a lot of balls hard, but was able to draw a few walks and get a few weak hits to score two in the sixth and one in the seventh.”
Garrett Schoenfeld tossed the final 2.1 frames to earn the win. He allowed one run on one hit with two walks and no strikeouts.
“Garrett was able to get out of a bases loaded jam by only giving up two runs,” Kleekamp said.
Pete Coulter paced the Post 218 offense with two hits (one double), one walk, two RBIs and one run.
David McNeal finished with one hit, two walks and one run.
Teddy Harrison had a walk and a triple.
Aaron Meyer added a double and one RBI.
Ross Seitter and Sam Katzung both walked and scored. Grant Ruediger and Brian Trigg both drew a walk.
“We got a good win against a quality team,” Kleekamp said. “We took a lot of good at-bats throughout the game.”
After playing Friday night against O’Fallon, Washington plays Saturday at Ronsick Field against Sullivan at 1:30 p.m. and North at 4 p.m.
Post 218 visits De Soto Sunday and Warrenton Monday for 6 p.m. starts.