Post 218 Claims Zone Title

Washington Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner prepares to be drenched after his team won the Zone 1 Tournament.

Bill Battle

How badly did Washington Post 218 want to go to Sedalia?

Enough that Post 218 breezed to a 17-4 win over St. Charles Post 312 Sunday in the Zone 1 Tournament winner-take-all game at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.

Also enough that Post 218 bashed three home runs in the game, two by Trent Leimkuehler. He belted shots to center and left field.

Jack Kopmann also pulled a home run over the left field fence.

“Before the first pitch of the first game our kids were really confident that we were going to hit the ball well,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “There was even talk about hitting five home runs on the day. Well, we hit four (including one in the first game) so I guess they were able to back up the talk.”

Post 218 (36-7) secured the win in seven innings to earn its third consecutive Zone 1 Tournament title in a row.

Washington opened scoring with six runs in the bottom of the first inning, which set the tone for the game.

“We just flat out pounded the ball and really the game was over after the first inning,” Gardner said.

Each team scored once in the second. St. Charles then cut the Washington lead to 7-3 in the top of the third, but Washington responded with four more runs.

St. Charles managed its final run during the fourth inning. Washington also scored once in the fourth and added two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to end it early.

Washington outhit St. Charles in the game, 18-8. Post 312 made all five errors in the game. Washington left eight on base while St. Charles stranded seven.

Playing for the fifth time in four days, both teams seemed to be pitching by committee. And Washington’s committee proved to be better than St. Charles.

Luke Hasenjaeger got the start for Washington and lasted 2.2 innings. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks.

Zach Pointer got the final out of the third inning to earn credit for the win. He allowed one run on one hit and one walk in the fourth.

Matt Jones shut the door on St. Charles, throwing four scoreless innings. St. Charles got three hits against him, but he fanned two Post 312 batters.

“There were a few shaky moments but when Matt Jones came in to pitch he settled everything down and we cruised to the zone title,” Gardner said.

For St. Charles, Travis Weidenbenner started and was shackled with the loss. Over 1.1 innings, he allowed seven runs (five earned) on six hits and one walk. He struck out one.

Austin Olendorff followed and allowed four runs (two earned) over 1.2 innings. He gave up four hits and one walk.

Chris Lindhoff pitched 1.2 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits.

Kyle Kramer went one inning, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. Michael Pundmann got the final out in the bottom of the sixth.

Post 218 got contributions up and down the lineup.

Leadoff batter Grant Eckelkamp posted one hit with two runs.

Dilan Bollmann had one hit and one run while walking.

Leimkuehler also singled and walked. He scored three runs with two RBIs.

Mike McGilvray had one hit, two runs and two RBIs. He also was hit by a pitch, stole a base and added a sacrifice fly.

Jones recorded two hits with one run and one RBI.

Dustin Howard recorded three hits, including a double, while scoring three runs.

Sam Deschenes posted two hits (including a double), two runs and three RBIs.

Kopmann ended with two hits, including the home run. He scored twice and drove in a pair.

Noah Borgerding had one hit and walked.

Washington’s three late-innings replacements also contributed to the effort.

Andrew Sumner drew a walk after fouling off several pitches and later scored a run.

David McNeal belted a two-run single.

Brendan Kleekamp came in and delivered a run-scoring single.

St. Charles had some offensive standouts as well.

Pundmann, Kramer and Alexander Rael each ended with two hits. Adam Ricks and Andrew Holtgreive had one hit apiece.

Kramer doubled. Spencer Pugh was hit by a pitch and Connor Brett stole a base.