Taking down Warrensburg Post 131 and West, the Washington Post 218 Seniors advanced to the championship game of the Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament.
Washington (30-6) advanced to the championship game with the wins, but fell to Jefferson City Post 5. A story on that game appears elsewhere in this section.
Going 4-0 in pool play, Washington earned the top seed for the playoffs as one of only two teams in the field to go unbeaten through the first four games. The only other unbeaten team in pool action was Bellevue, Neb., Post 339 West.
Post 218 started bracket play against the Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes Saturday, winning 3-0.
Washington started action Sunday with a 4-1 semifinals win over the West Jaguars.
Starting bracket play, Post 218 drew the Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes, a wildcard team. Post 131 fell to Fike Post 499 for the pool title Friday.
Washington scored twice in the bottom of the fourth and added a run in the fifth.
Brendan Feldmann went the distance for Post 218, scattering five hits while recording the shutout.
“We had been getting Brendan Feldmann ready for this game and he did not disappoint us,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “He was pretty much in complete control of the game and was stronger as the game went on. It was really a big lift for the team to have him come out and throw the way he did. We again played good defense and were able to push across three runs in a tough-fought quarterfinals game.”
The game was Feldmann’s longest outing of the season. The MCC-Maplewoods hurler hadn’t pitched more than two innings previously and had just four innings of action heading to Blue Springs.
Offensively, Trent Leimkuehler bashed two doubles while scoring once and driving in one run.
Jack Kopmann recorded two singles from the No. 8 spot in the order.
Grant Eckelkamp singled, stole a base and scored.
Dilan Bollmann had one single and was hit by a pitch.
Noah Borgerding singled and drove in a run.
Luke Hasenjaeger hit a single.
Tony Helfrich drew a walk.
Todd Kleekamp scored a run as a courtesy runner.
No matter where they go, Ninth District rivals Washington and West usually find a way to match up in tournaments and Sunday’s semifinal game was no exception.
West, a 9-3 winner over Independence Post 21 in the quarterfinals, ran into Washington for the third time this season to start action Sunday.
And, for the third time this season, Washington came away with the victory.
In this game, Post 218 won by a 4-1 score.
West actually scored first, plating a run in the top of the opening frame.
Washington fought back and tied it in the bottom of the fourth.
Post 218 caught the break it needed in the fifth, adding three more runs. West fielding problems helped Post 218 score the runs it needed to secure the win.
“We were able to play some small ball and getting a couple of sacrifice bunts down that West could not make the play on allowing all the runners to be safe,” Gardner said. “That really turned out to be the difference in the game.”
The contest turned into a pitchers’ duel between Washington’s Tyler Tuepker and West’s Ryan Franklin.
Tuepker remained unbeaten on the season, improving to 8-0 on the season and 2-0 in the tournament by going the distance. He allowed one run on eight hits and one walk. He struck out one.
“Tyler Tuepker came back for his second game in the tournament and it was his second time he faced West,” Gardner said. “He again pitched really well going all seven innings only giving up the one run in the first inning. West’s pitcher Ryan Franklin was really tough on us.”
Franklin also went the distance. Over six innings, he allowed four runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out five.
Everything which could go wrong for West did so in the fifth inning. Franklin hit a batter and two costly errors helped Washington extend the inning.
Sam Katzung led Washington with two hits, both singles.
Washington’s other hits came from Dilan Bollmann and Trent Leimkuehler.
Leimkuehler also scored a run and was walked intentionally.
Grant Eckelkamp and Justin Schuler each sacrificed and scored a run.
Matt Jones, Noah Borgerding and Luke Hasenjaeger drove in runs.
Jack Kopmann was hit by a pitch and scored.