Rob Vetter scurried home with the winning run in the bottom of the 15th inning to give West the championship of the inaugural Washington Post 218 Wood Bat Showcase Sunday at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
West slipped past host Washington Post 218 to claim the title, 8-7.
“What a great game to end the tournament,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “We had the game won but just could not put them away. It is something we will have to learn to do. Our hats are off to West as they are a very deserving champion of our tournament.”
For West, the victory ended a comeback in which it had trailed 6-0 at one point and needed a wild pitch on the final strike of what would have been the third out in the bottom of the seventh just to tie the contest.
The game continued a strong rivalry between the two teams, who have paired up for championship events several times in recent seasons, including the Zone 1 championship series last summer.
With the win, West evened the season series with Washington with one win apiece. The teams play again Saturday, July 7, at Westhoff Park in O’Fallon for another league game.
Washington (14-6) will try to bounce back Wednesday when Ninth District rival Central visits at 8:30 p.m.
Post 218 visits St. Charles Friday at 8:30 p.m. in a league game and then hosts Moberly in a nonleague doubleheader Sunday starting at 1 p.m.
While Washington outhit West in the game, 15-14, Post 218 also committed more errors, 8-3, and those errors played a key role in the game.
Washington took a 6-0 lead in the game with three runs in the second.
Mike McGilvray led off with a single just over the first baseman. Sam Deschenes walked and Dustin Howard was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.
Jack Kopmann hit a Texas Leaguer between the shortstop and left fielder to plate one run and Noah Borgerding followed with a hit to left to bring another run home.
Grant Eckelkamp then flew out to center to plate Howard with the third run.
Washington made it 6-0 in the fourth.
Trent Leimkuehler hit a sacrifice fly to plate Borgerding.
Matt Jones doubled home Eckelkamp and Dilan Bollmann to make it 6-0.
West scored three times in the bottom of the fourth.
After a single and an error, West came through with a single to left which bounced away and resulted in a two-run error on top of the hit. A sacrifice fly made it 6-3.
Washington scored once in the fifth. Howard singled and Borgerding doubled him home.
West responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
With one out, Danny Biggs walked. Case singled on a hit and run play and Biggs scored. Case ended up at second on the throw.
Colton Howell then hit a Cody Gardner pitch over the left field fence to make it a one-run game on the two-run home run, 6-5.
Borgerding made a big catch while hanging on the fence to keep it 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth.
In the seventh, Post 218 had two outs when Kyle Case swung at Matt Jones’ third pitch, which bounced into the dirt and moved past catcher Trent Leimkuehler.
Case reached on the play and Jarod Hahn scored the tying run. Also, Mike Wilkinson moved to third with the potential winning run. Jones coaxed Nick Mundy to fly out to center to send the game into extra innings.
Both teams had plenty of chances to take the lead in extra innings.
West had two aboard in the eighth with one out but failed to score.
In the ninth, Washington put Howard and Kopmann on board. Howard tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate.
In the bottom of the ninth, West had the winning run on third with one out, but Leimkuehler caught a foul ball near the fence under the concession stand and another out ended it.
In the 10th, Washington put its first two runners on base, but failed. West got caught in a double play to end its inning.
In the 11th, Post 218 had Deschenes on second with one out, but a line drive and a pop up stopped the rally.
In the 12th, Case was hit by a pitch, but was doubled up on a line drive to Kopmann.
In the 13th, Washington put McGilvray and Deschenes on base with one out. Howard moved them to second and third, but Wilkinson recorded a strikeout on a full count to end the inning.
In the 15th, Logan Huelsmann singled to right. Biggs followed with a bunt just in front of the plate and was safe at first when the throw was delayed.
Another bunt by Nick Cessna was thrown away, allowing Vetter, a pinch runner, to score the winning run.
Offensively, Washington was paced by Bollmann and McGilvray, who had three hits each.
Howard, Kopmann and Borgerding, hitting in the final three spots in the order, each had two hits.
Eckelkamp, Leimkuehler and Jones posted one hit each.
Jones and Borgerding doubled.
Howard scored twice while Eckelkamp, Bollmann, McGilvray, Deschenes and Borgerding scored one run each.
Jones and Borgerding each had two RBIs. Eckelkamp, Leimkuehler and Kopmann each drove home one run.
Leimkuehler and Deschenes each walked twice. Eckelkamp and Borgerding walked once.
Eckelkamp recorded two sacrifices. Howard and Leimkuehler also sacrificed in the game.
Howard and Borgerding were hit by pitches.
Gardner, who pitched Wednesday in the win over Ballwin to open the tournament, went five innings. He allowed six runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three.
Brendan Feldmann, who went the distance in a shutout against Ste. Genevieve Thursday, threw one inning while allowing a hit and a walk.
Jones threw the next four innings, allowing an unearned run on one hit and a walk.
Leimkuehler, who recorded the win Friday against Elsberry in the quarterfinals, suffered the loss. He threw four innings while allowing one unearned run on three hits and one walk. He struck out one.
For West, Cessna and Huelsmann each had three hits. Biggs and Howell posted two hits apiece.
Cessna, Howell and Hahn each scored twice.
Matt Mosley started the game and went 3.2 innings while allowing six runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out one. Mosley ended the game away from the dugout after being ejected in the ninth for comments made about the umpiring.
Zac Hoffman went 3.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits and one walk. He struck out two.
Andrew Schwaab pitched the next three innings, allowing four hits while striking out three.
Wilkinson earned the win, throwing five innings while allowing two hits and one walk. He struck out two.