Chances for a second consecutive Freshman Legion baseball state championship ended for the Washington Post 218 Freshman Legion team Friday afternoon.
Washington fell to Glendale, 7-4, in a losers’ bracket game in Branson.
“It just wasn’t our weekend but we enjoyed our time there and hopefully it will be a learning experience for the players,” said Post 218 Manager Jordan Bierbaum. “This makes it two years in a row that the Freshman team has made it to Branson. If we, as a program, can keep that up, good things will happen. I would like to congratulate all the boys on their hard work and dedication to our team.”
“It just seemed like we couldn’t do anything,” Bierbaum said. “The energy and expectations the players had during the game were positive and upbeat. They wanted to win as we all did. It was one of those games that didn’t go our way. We spotted them a lot of runs early and just like the Jackson game we couldn’t make any comeback.”
Post 218 (23-9) tied for fifth place in the eight-team event.
Washington started the game with a run in the top of the first inning. Glendale grabbed the lead with two runs in the bottom of the opening frame.
Post 218 scored twice in the top of the third, but Glendale scored five times in the bottom of that inning.
Washington scored the game’s last run in the top of the fourth.
“Offensively we had some chances but couldn’t get the key hit to push forward with any momentum,” Bierbaum said.
Washington outhit Glendale, 9-6, but could not take advantage.
Gus Kleekamp, Trey Hunter and Kody Halmich paced the Post 218 offense with two hits apiece.
Kleekamp scored two runs in the game.
Hunter scored once, drove in a run and stole two bases.
Halmich recorded a double, the only extra-base hit of the game.
Batters with one hit apiece were Blake Pickard, Garrett Leimkuehler and Joe Grant.
Pickard also had a sacrifice. Leimkuehler drove in a run. Grant drove in two runs and walked.
Will Davis scored a run and was hit by two pitches.
Daniel Diener walked.
Leimkuehler started for Post 218 and suffered the loss, going 2.2 innings. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on five hits and three walks. He hit one batter and struck out two.
Davis pitched 3.1 innings, allowing one hit. He struck out four.
Glendale went on to finish fourth in the tournament.
Post 218 defeated Branson, which came back through the losers’ bracket to place third in the event. The other loss was to Jackson, which was the last team left in the winners’ bracket, but lost in the championship series to Eureka.