By Jason Peake
Missourian Sports Writer
A close game got away from the Union Post 297 Juniors on Sunday.
A one-run deficit suddenly turned into a huge hole in Union’s 10-1 loss to Elsberry in game one of a doubleheader of Sunday.
Elsberry completed the sweep with a 5-1 victory in game two.
In game one, a close one slipped away from Union. Elsberry led 2-1 heading into the seventh inning. But Elsberry then scored eight runs to blow the game open.
“The first six innings were fun,” Union Manager Ryan Bailey said. “Jerod Mattingly pitched a great game the first two times through their lineup. He was under 60 pitches heading into the seventh inning and then they were able to find some holes finally and along with some errors on our part, they blew the game open. It was too bad to see the final score because for the first six innings it was a good, close game between two evenly matched teams.”
Union’s run came in the fifth, when Nick Eads scored from third on a ground out.
Kendall Sheler had the only hit of the contest for Union. Eads, Blake Pickard and Emmett Parker all drew walks.
Mattingly took the loss, going 6.1 innings on the mound. He allowed only two earned runs and six hits. Mattingly struck out five. Chris Griffin also pitched for Post 297.
In game two, the offense was once again lacking for Union. A few miscues in the field also hurt Post 297.
“Our emotions got the better of us the last game as we were a little too amped up to try and split the series,” Bailey said. “Once we made a few mistakes we let bad at-bats carry over into the field. And then one error became two and the next thing you know we’d done ourselves in again. It was a learning experience for sure and hopefully we’ll get another crack at them in the end of the year tournament.”
Elsberry scored twice in the second, once in the third and twice in the fifth. Union’s lone run came in the first inning. Mike Wachter walked, went to second on an error and then took third on a ground out. Wachter then scored on Dillon Breeden’s ground out.
Nick Kretzler and Sheler had the hits for Union. Ethan Hughes pitched five innings and took the loss. He allowed one earned run and only four hits. Griffin also pitched in relief.
Union will host St. James on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Bailey said he hopes his team can bounce back from the weekend’s losses.
“Our defense has been strong most of the year so it’s easy to look at this game and say our defense let us down,” he said. “But we only had three hits the whole day, so moving forward we need to improve our hitting or we’ll have to have perfect outings by our pitchers and defense every game and that’s almost impossible to do. We have four more games this week before our next district contest on Friday, so hopefully we can get the bats going and be ready for the final stretch to our season.”
Host Creve Coeur topped Washington 11-7 on Monday night at Parkway West.
Washington scored six runs in the first two innings, but Creve Coeur rallied late to get the win. The hosts put up seven runs in the fourth inning.
Ruether went 3-3 with two runs scored and Stahlman drove in two runs. Nathan Breckenkamp, Zach Finley and Tyler Patton all had one RBI apiece.
Breckenkamp, McDermott and Ruether all pitched for Post 218. Ruether went 2.2 innings and struck out three. Breckenkamp allowed four earned runs and McDermott gave up one run.