Scoring in the first five innings, the Washington Post 218 Junior Legion opened Zone 1 Tournament play Friday with a 5-3 win over Hannibal Post 55.
Washington (27-2) had to hold off a late Hannibal rally to capture their opening game of the postseason event at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
“We definitely had a good effort today,” Post 218 Manager Phillip Kleekamp said. “Our boys came out and put runs on them through the first five innings.”
The visiting team for the game, Post 218 scored single runs in the first five innings.
Hannibal scored once in the bottom of the third and rallied for two additional runs in the bottom of the seventh and had the winning run at the plate before Evan Ayers was able to close out the complete game.
“It was a little closer at the end than we wanted,” Kleekamp said. “I think the heat was catching up with our boys a bit, but the boys did a good job and we’re playing tomorrow.”
Ayers went the distance for Washington, allowing three runs on six hits. He walked nobody and struck out six Hannibal batters.
“Evan truly has been one of our top stars,” Kleekamp said. “We’ve got an ace-by-committee, with three or four guys but Evan gave us exactly what we needed with a complete game.”
Offensively, Washington had five hits with Seth Bollmann and Aaron Meyer posting those.
Bollmann, the Post 218 leadoff batter, came through with three hits. He scored once and drove in one run. One of his hits was a double. He also stole a base.
Meyer recorded two hits and scored a run. He also doubled, walked and stole a base.
Washington took advantage of four walks and two hit batters as well.
Ross Seitter, Nathaniel Hillermann and Ryan Becszlko also walked.
Justin Baylard scored twice while Seitter also scored a run. Spencer Juergens also drove in a run.
Hillermann stole two bases. Baylard also had one stolen base.
John Himmelberg and Baylard were hit by pitches. Jack Hoey added a sacrifice bunt.
Hannibal received production from the bottom of its order.
Grant Vollrath, hitting seventh, and Dalton Overstreet, batting eighth, each had two hits. Overstreet doubled and drove in two runs while Vollrath scored twice.
The other hits came from Austin Kirby and Tyler Damron.
Trevor Nierman took the loss for Hannibal, going three innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and four walks. He struck out three.
Kirby took over and went three innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits. He struck out one.
Scott Hoover pitched the seventh, giving up one hit.
Washington wasted no time in going to work. Bollmann led off the game by hitting the second pitch into right field. With one out, Meyer walked, but was put out on a fielders’ choice by Hillermann.
Bollmann scored on an error.
In the second, Becszlko led off with a walk, but was put out on a fielders’ choice by Baylard. Baylard stole second and scored on a double by Bollmann. Himmelberg also crossed the plate, but it was judged to have happened after Bollmann was tagged out trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
In the third inning, Seitter led off with a walk and came around to score on a groundout by Juergens.
In the fourth, Baylard started the inning getting hit by a pitch. He scored on a groundout by Himmelberg.
Meyer singled, stole second, took third on one error and scored on another.
Vollrath scored Hannibal’s first run in the third inning. He singled, went to second on a balk and came home on a single by Kirby.
Washington escaped a jam in the sixth, getting a double play to end the inning.
In the seventh, a two-out double by Overstreet made things interesting, but Ayers coaxed a pop out to Bollmann to end the game