Hitting the road Tuesday, the Washington Post 218 Freshman Legion team stayed undefeated on the season with a pair of wins in Festus.
Post 218 (12-0) swept Festus, 6-1 and 5-2.
“To go to Festus and get out of there with a couple of wins was nice,” Post 218 Manager Kevin Juergens said. “Festus made us earn everything we got. I am proud of the boys with how they battled all night.”
Washington previously swept Festus in Washington the previous Tuesday (May 29), 6-0 and 13-1.
Post 218 returns to action at home Saturday with a doubleheader against 10th District foe Florissant at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field. First pitch is at 9 a.m.
On Sunday, Post 218 hosts Creve Coeur, also of the 10th District, starting at 1 p.m.
Washington’s next Ninth District game is at Pacific next Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Festus scored first in the game, pushing a run across the plate in the bottom of the first inning. But that’s all Post 253 got against Washington.
Post 218 tied the game in the third and then scored three times in the fifth inning to take the lead. Washington added two additional runs in the top of the seventh.
Each team had eight hits and Festus committed the only error.
Nick Thiel started on the hill and went four innings while allowing one run on eight hits and four walks. He struck out three.
Thiel earned the win, helping his own cause with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning.
But Thiel ran into trouble in the bottom of that same frame.
“Give Festus credit in their bottom of the fifth, they came back and answered with 3 straight singles and that chased Thiel from the mound,” Juergens said. “Ryan Becszlko came in and shut them down. He struck out the first batter he faced, then got the second batter to pop up back to him, and then struck out the third batter he faced. He did a great job in a tight situation.”
Becszlko closed out the game allowing one walk while striking out two over three innings.
Offensively, Seth Bollmann was the leading hitter with three singles. He also scored twice and stole a base.
Micah McNeal smacked a triple while Matt Miller, Nathaniel Hillermann and John Himmelberg hit singles.
Miller, Hillermann, McNeal and Thiel also scored runs. Thiel and McNeal each had two RBIs. Hillermann drove in one.
Miller walked twice while McNeal, Thiel and Justin Baylard each walked once.
Hillermann and Himmelberg also stole bases.
Washington scored twice in the second and added another run in the fifth before Festus scored single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings. Washington added its final two runs in the top of the seventh.
“We were able to give ourselves a little breathing room by scoring two in the seventh,” said Juergens.
Post 218 outhit Festus in the game, 7-5. While Washington played error-free ball, Festus committed three fielding miscues.
In the second game, Becszlko got the start and went four innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out five to earn the win.
“He kept rolling right from the first game,” Juergens said. “He pitched great all night. He really set the tone from the last three innings in the first game and then the first four innings the second game. He had great command of his pitches all night and was very impressive.”
Baylard pitched the final three innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He struck out a pair.
“Justin Baylard came in to pitch the final three innings and also pitched very well,” Juergens said. “Give Festus credit again, down 3-1 they made it 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth with the tying run at third but we were able to get that runner out in a run down on a ball hit back to Baylard on the mound.”
Offensively, Max Diener had three hits to lead the way. He scored once and drove in one run.
“Max Diener was the hitting star for this game,” Juergens said. “He had a couple of clutch hits.”
Also recording hits were Himmelberg (triple), McNeal, Eric Hasenjaeger and Baylard.
Kody Halmich, Himmelberg, Thiel and Evan Ayers also scored runs.
Himmelberg, McNeal and Hasenjaeger also had one RBI each.
Thiel walked three times.
McNeal stole two bases while Halmich had one stolen base.