Pacific’s run in the Ninth District Freshmen Legion Tournament came to an end after a long game filled with opportunities.
Playing in the loser’s bracket semifinals Tuesday at Ronsick Field in Washington, second-seeded Post 320 saw its season come to an end with a 12-inning loss to fifth-seeded St. Charles, 4-3.
St. Charles lost to sixth-seeded West 16-0 Wednesday in the loser’s bracket finals.
Top-seeded Washington defeated West Wednesday 8-0 to win the tournament crown.
Pacific (15-5), the home team on the scoreboard, had chances to win in extra innings, but couldn’t push the winning run across the plate.
“Talking to Matt (Post 320 Assistant Coach Matt Leary), we had several chances to win the game, but never got that big hit,” said Post 320 Manager Cody Kelley, who was unable to attend the game. “We also made some mistakes that cost us runs. Losing in 12 innings is a tough way to end the season.”
Both teams had solid pitching performances in the extra-inning contest.
Eain Roberts got the start on the mound for Pacific. He worked five plus innings, allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
“Eain sometimes struggles with his control, but he pitched a good game,” Kelley said. “Eain was a very good player for us. He’s probably one of the better hitters in the league.”
Nick Hogan tossed the final seven frames and was the hard-luck losing pitcher. He allowed one unearned run on five hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts.
“Nick could have been our best pitcher this year if he were healthy. He had some injury problems,” Kelley said. “He also would have been our starting shortstop, which we never really had. Brendan McMillan did a good job playing shortstop, but he’s more of a third baseman.”
Tyler Renaud was the starting pitcher for St. Charles. He worked nine plus innings, allowing three runs.
Tristan Tredway pitched the final three innings for the win.
Trailing 1-0, Pacific grabbed a 3-1 advantage with three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
After Dalton Mathis singled and Drew Fonner was hit by a pitch, Brett Mann stroked an RBI and an error on the play allowed a second run to score, giving Post 320 a 2-1 lead.
Mann then scored when he stole third base and raced home when the throw from the catcher sailed into left field, giving Pacific a 3-1 lead.
St. Charles tied the game 3-3 with two runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Both teams were held scoreless from the bottom of the fourth inning until the top of the 12th, when St. Charles scored an unearned run after a leadoff error.
Post 320 had its chances to break the 3-3 deadlock.
Missed opportunities included a runner at second base with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning and a leadoff walk in the ninth inning.
In the bottom of the 10th frame, Pacific had a runner thrown out trying to steal second base and another one picked off at first base.
Post 320 had runners at first and second bases with one out and second and third bases with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, but couldn’t win the game.
St. Charles scored its 12-inning run on an error, stolen base and two singles.
Pacific was retired in order in the bottom of the 12th inning to end the game.
“I really liked our season, going 15-5. We got our kids better prepared for the high school season, which is our main concern,” Kelley said. “I knew our pitching would be deep and we threw the ball pretty well this season. We hit the ball better than I expected. I thought we might struggle at the plate through the season, but we did some good things.”
Kelley said he will not return to the Legion program next summer in order to focus on his education. He will be attending Tennessee State University in Nashville this fall, where he will major in communications.
“This was my last year,” Kelley said. “I’m retiring.”