By Jason Peake
Missourian Sports Writer
A five-run deficit? No problem.
Washington’s Junior Legion team overcame an early deficit in Thursday’s 11-5 win at New Haven.
New Haven held a 5-0 lead before Post 218 rallied in the later innings, scoring 11 unanswered runs.
“It didn’t start exactly the way we wanted it to, but we were able to pick up a victory,” Washington Manager Phillip Kleekamp said. “New Haven came out aggressive and was putting the ball in play early. Every ball they hit in the first inning seemed to find a hole. The boys did a great job of remaining calm when we got down early. I really liked their approach at the plate when we were down early. We were able to slowly get back in the game and put it away late. I really think this game was a good learning experience for us, as it showed that we have the ability to get back into a game even if we are down early.”
An error and a few singles got New Haven on the board early.
“After the second inning, we were trailing by five runs and had our work cut out for us,” Kleekamp noted.
After New Haven jumped out to a 5-0 lead, Washington responded with one run in the second, three in the third, one in the fourth and three apiece in both the fifth and sixth innings. New Haven didn’t score after the second inning.
“We were hitting the ball well all night,” Kleekamp noted. “ Early in the game the difference was they were finding the holes, and we were hitting line drives right at people. After we settled down, the boys did a great job of chipping away at the lead. After not scoring in the first inning, we were able to score in each of the next six innings. The boys really took some quality at-bats. We stressed to them to just keep the same approach, and don’t try to hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
Cody Smith and Isaiah Oakes drove in two runs apiece. Smith had three hits and scored two runs. Gus Kleekamp had four hits and scored two runs. Michael Sinnott had two hits and scored twice, while Adam Hinson scored three runs. Kyle Tuepker had two hits and one RBI, while Matt Miller and Zach Marquart drove in one run apiece.
“We had a lot of guys swinging the bat well tonight,” Kleekamp said. “Cody Smith picked up two RBIs and Isaiah Oakes also had a clutch hit late in the game. Gus Kleekamp had a great day at the plate, going 4-5 with two runs scored.”
James Dyson earned the win on the hill, going five innings. He allowed three earned runs. Isaiah West pitched two innings, allowing no runs.
“I thought James pitched better than the scorecard showed in the first inning,” Kleekamp said. “Although New Haven scored four runs in the first, I think New Haven may have only hit two balls well in the inning. Everything they hit just seemed to find its way through the infield. James did a great job of settling in and delivered five strong innings to pick up the win. Isaiah West came in relief and pitched two scoreless innings.”
New Haven got two hits and two RBIs from Cody Body, while Dakota Eikermann and Joshua Schroer had one RBI apiece. Conner Lane scored two runs, while Andrew Loehnig and Matthew Wade scored one run apiece. Cory Bean pitched for New Haven, allowing seven earned runs and striking out three.
Post 218 is at Union on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
Washington rolled to a 12-2 victory over St. Peters on Tuesday night at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Post 218 put up five runs in the first inning to set the tone. In the big first inning, two runs scored on back-to-back walks with the bases-loaded. Sinnott then doubled to make it 5-0.
“We were able to jump on top early in the game, plating five runs all with two outs in the bottom of the first,” Kleekamp said. “Matt Miller tripled to start the two-out rally. St. Peters’ pitcher had a rough time finding the sound after the triple and walked four-straight. Michael Sinnott struck the big blow of the inning by knocking a double to the left-center gap that chased all the runners home.”
A six-run fourth inning blew the game open.
“The game was put away in the bottom of the fourth,” Kleekamp said. “We were able to score six more runs as the new St. Peters pitcher also had a tough time finding the zone.”
In the huge fourth inning, Miller scored on Garrett Leimkuehler’s single to center. Marquart drew a walk with the bases loaded, scoring Kody Halmich. Sinnott and Hinson then hit RBI singles. Miller then drew a walk with the bases loaded for a 12-2 advantage.
Sinnott went 2-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
“It was nice to see Michael be more aggressive at the plate,” Kleekamp said. “He has the ability to hit for some power. He also added another hit and a walk in the game.”
Marquart drove in two runs and scored twice, while Miller, Leimkuehler, Cody Smith and Hinson all drove in one run apiece.
“Adam Hinson had a good day at the plate picking up two hits and an RBI,” Kleekamp noted. “Right now, we have a lot of players seeing the ball real well. We are being aggressive on the right pitches and have been reaping the benefits as of late.”
Adam Gauzy earned the win, going three innings on the mound. He struck out four and allowed no earned runs. Chris Schweissguth pitched two innings, striking out one and allowing no runs.
“Adam Gauzy got the start for us and allowed two unearned runs in three innings of work,” Kleekamp said. “Adam was dealing with some muscle tightness, so we replaced him with Chris Schweissguth in the top of the fourth. Chris allowed no runs on two hits in his two innings of work. He really stepped up for us and did a great job. The game was only 5-2 when Chris had to come in on short notice. He was aggressive and went right after the hitters early and was able to utilize his defense.”