Trying to fight back from the losers’ bracket at the Junior Legion Zone 1 Tournament, Washington Post 218 began its journey with a 14-4 win over the Chillicothe Post 25 Cardinals last Friday afternoon (July 20) at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Washington (31-8) never trailed in the game, but didn’t have an easy time with the Cardinals, either.
“The boys came back after a tough loss to Daniel Boone to pick up a much needed win in six innings,” Post 218 Manager Phillip Kleekamp said. “Grant Ruediger went the distance to help us save some pitching. Offensively, we had a great game as well. The boys were able to produce runs in every inning. We were able to score early and often making the boys relax and settle in.”
Post 218 took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Chillicothe tied it in the top of the second.
Washington took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the second and added five runs in the third.
Chillicothe scored twice in the fourth, but Washington continued to score. Post 218 scored once in the fourth, twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to end it on the 10-run mercy rule.
The game ended when Peter Coulter, celebrating his birthday, scored on a wild throw to third base.
Post 218 outhit Chillicothe in the game, 12-4. Chillicothe made six errors in the game to three for Post 218.
“We obviously needed a win to avoid elimination,” Kleekamp said. “The boys came out ready to play when their backs were against the wall. We got a great pitching performance from Grant Ruediger as well. The boys played a great game when they had to.”
Seven different Washington batters recorded hits in the game.
Ross Seitter, Todd Kleekamp, Sam Katzung, Aaron Meyer and Peter Coulter each had two hits. Kevin Birk and Garrett Schoenfeld posted one hit apiece.
Meyer and Coulter tripled while Meyer and Schoenfeld doubled.
Coulter crossed the plate three times. Seitter, Meyer, Schoenfeld and Tyler Straatmann each scored twice. Kleekamp, Birk and McNeal scored one run apiece.
Coulter drove in three runs. Straatmann had two RBIs while Katzung, Meyer and Schoenfeld recorded one RBI apiece.
Straatmann, McNeal and Schoenfeld stole bases.
“There were contributions up and down the lineup,” Kleekamp said. “The boys were really seeing the ball well. They were getting ahead in counts and put great swings on their pitches.”
Ruediger pitched all six innings for Washington, allowing four runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks. He struck out one.
Justin Fry led Chillicothe with two hits. Trevor Corzete and Anthony Esposito each had one hit. Esposito doubled.
Kody Westcott and Esposito each scored two runs. Austin Dewitt drove in two while Esposito had one RBI.
Ryan Smith started for Chillicothe and lasted four innings, allowing 13 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits and five walks. He struck out two.
Austin Minnick closed out the game, going 1.1 innings. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk.
Post 218 received strong production from the bottom part of the lineup. Batters in the sixth through ninth spots in the order scored nine of the runs with five hits, three walks and an error. Both triples and both doubles came from that part of the lineup.
Meyer, hitting in the sixth spot, tripled to right center field in his first at-bat and doubled to left center field in his second at-bat.
Coulter also completed half of the cycle, getting his single in the second inning and the triple to right field in the third.