Taking two of three games this weekend, the Washington Post 218 Senior Legion team improved to 6-3 on the season and 5-0 within the Ninth District.
Washington’s league win came Friday against arch rival West, 12-2 in seven innings, at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Post 218 followed up with a nonleague win over De Soto Saturday, 6-4. It was Washington’s first win outside the Ninth District so far this season.
Another district game Saturday against Sullivan was called off.
On Sunday, Post 218 fell to Eureka at home, 3-2.
This week, Post 218 visits St. Charles Tuesday in another key Ninth District game. First pitch at Blanchette Park is set for 7 p.m.
Washington hosts Daniel Boone Friday at 7 p.m. That will be a salute to Post 218’s championship teams. Washington has won five state titles in its history, recording championships in 1957, 1989, 2005 (Juniors) and 2012 (Seniors and Freshmen).
Members of the 1957 state championship team will be at the game to throw out a first pitch.
On Saturday, Washington plays in Alton, Ill., against Alton at 4 p.m. and Mattoon, Ill., at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, Post 218 hosts Elsberry in a Ninth District game at 6 p.m.
Washington’s biggest win came Friday in a 12-2 rout of West.
“We came out and played really well against West,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “We took a lot of quality at-bats against a really good pitcher and it paid off. We had 12 hits that included five doubles and had more walks than strikeouts. It was our best overall game swinging the bat this year.”
Washington needed little time to jump on top in this game, scoring once in the bottom of the first, once in the second and five times in the third.
West scored its two runs in the fourth, but Washington scored three in the sixth and two in the seventh to finish it in seven innings.
Tony Helfrich went the distance on the hill, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out seven batters.
“Tony gave us another great start on the mound, only giving up three hits,” Gardner said. “He really has learned how to pitch within the strike zone. His percentage of strikes in each game is consistently in the 67-70 percent range, right where you want it to be.”
Offensively, Jack Kopmann led the way with three hits, two runs, two RBIs and a walk. One of his hits was a double.
Dilan Bollmann had two hits, including a double, with one run and two RBIs.
Trent Leimkuehler doubled twice, scored once, drove in a run and walked.
Grant Eckelkamp, Matt Jones, Noah Borgerding (double), Luke Hasenjaeger and Ben Huffman each had one hit.
Hasenjaeger scored three times while Eckelkamp scored twice. Jones, Borgerding and Sam Katzung scored once.
Jones and Hasenjaeger drew walks. Katzung and Justin Schuler added sacrifices.
“It really was the kind of quality baseball that we expect to play on a consistent basis,” Gardner said.
Austin Verschoore had two of the three West hits. Ryan Franklin took the loss.
Post 218 was supposed to play twice on Saturday, but Sullivan pulled out of a scheduled league contest, so Washington only played De Soto.
Post 218 scored three times in the first and once in the second. De Soto cut it to a one-run game in the third with three runs.
Washington added single runs in the fifth and sixth. De Soto scored once in the seventh.
“We had a tough time getting quality swings against the De Soto pitcher as he was conveniently wild,” Gardner said. “We realize that he was not trying to hit us, but it makes it tough to hit when you get six hit batters in the first few innings. Fortunately we were able to put up a few runs early and hang on for the victory.”
Zach Pointer went four innings to earn the win. He allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and four walks. He struck out four.
“Zach Pointer looked great the first three innings,” Gardner said. “He lost his control a little in the fourth but worked through the issues and got out of the jam. I expect him to be even better his next time out.”
Tyler Murray picked up a save with three innings pitched. He allowed one run on two hits. He struck out three.
“Tyler Murray came in and really did a nice job the last three innings and close out the game,” said Gardner.
Offensively, Leimkuehler had half of Washington’s hits with two. He scored twice, drove in one, walked, was hit by a pitch and stole a base.
The other hits came from Helfrich and Borgerding. Helfrich drove in a run and walked. Borgerding scored and drove in a run.
Andrew Sumner scored twice and Eckelkamp crossed the plate once. Helfrich and Katzung drove in runs and walked.
Sumner was hit by two pitches while Eckelkamp, Borgerding and Todd Kleekamp also were hit by pitches.
Washington led for most of Sunday’s nonleague game against Eureka, but ended up losing, 3-2.
Post 218 scored in the third. Eureka tied it in the fifth, but Washington scored once in the bottom of the inning. Eureka scored twice in the sixth to take the lead for good.
“I thought our bats were a little slow and our hands were dropping a little bit, so we really did not take quality swings,” Gardner said.
Schuler, Jared Walde and Leimkuehler pitched for Washington.
Schuler absorbed the loss, going 5.2 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four.
“Justin Schuler started his first game on the mound and looked good the first five innings,” Gardner said. “He lost his control a little in the fifth inning hitting a couple of batters and it cost us in the end. I know that Justin will be better his next time out. We will need him and Zach as the season goes on and we play more games.”
Walde got through the rest of the sixth with no additional damage.
Leimkuehler pitched the seventh, striking out one.
Offensively, Washington was held to singles by Tyler Tuepker, Leimkuehler and Borgerding.
Tuepker and Leimkuehler scored runs. Borgerding had the only RBI.
Jones walked twice while Tuepker, Leimkuehler and Helfrich each walked once.
Leimkuehler stole two bases and Tuepker stole one.
Bollmann added a sacrifice.
Donnie Lucas was the winning pitcher for Eureka, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and five walks. He struck out five.
Austin Tinsley had two of Eureka’s six hits. He scored once and drove in one run.