Taking advantage of a five-run start, the Washington Post 218 Junior Legion team captured the Zone 1 Tournament championship Sunday over Jefferson City Post 5, 5-4.
Post 218 (29-2) next plays Thursday in the Missouri State Tournament in Joplin.
Spencer Juergens made his third start of the season for Post 218 and came through with a complete game victory. He allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits. He struck out three Post 5 batters.
Washington, the visiting team for the game, scored five times in the top of the first inning, and made that pay off throughout the rest of the game.
Seth Bollmann led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Aaron Meyer singled to center to plate Bollmann.
Nathaniel Hillermann walked and Ryan Becszlko singled to load the bases with one out.
Justin Baylard belted a bases-clearing doubled to the center field fence and Washington quickly made it 4-0.
With two outs, Nick Thiel doubled to center to bring Baylard home and make it 5-0.
But that was it for Post 218.
Despite needing 46 pitches to get through the first, Jefferson City starter Cody Stegeman settled down after that and threw five additional scoreless innings. He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in the game. He struck out nine Post 218 batters.
Jefferson City started to chip back. Only big defensive plays by Washington kept Post 5 from doing additional damage.
Post 5 had one runner thrown out at the plate in the fifth. In the sixth, a two-out, two run single by Alex Verhoff brought Jefferson City back to 5-4.
Juergens coaxed a fly ball to John Himmelberg in right to end the threat.
In the seventh, Post 5 got a line drive by Dylan Hoelscher to the left field gap. Kyle Summers, hustling from his spot, dove and snagged the ball in the air for the first out.
Juergens whiffed Alex Dickneite for the final out, giving Post 218 its trip to Joplin.
Complete Post 218 coverage will be in the Wednesday Missourian.