With a dominating week on the baseball diamond, the Pacific Post 320 Juniors hit the 20-win plateau for the season.
Post 320 (20-2, 16-1) allowed just one run in four games after wins Monday at Sullivan 15-0, Tuesday at Elsberry 10-1 and a home doubleheader sweep Wednesday over Central, 12-0 and 14-0.
“We’re starting to kick it in from the beginning of the game and not having to rely on those one- or two-run games. We’re taking good at-bats, even with big leads,” said Post 320 Manager Cory Cowsert. “Our pitching and defense have been great. We have six or seven guys who I have no problem throwing at anytime.”
Pacific played Friday against West and visits Wentzville Saturday at 6 p.m. Next week, Post 320 hosts Elsberry Monday and O’Fallon Tuesday for 6 p.m. starts.
Allen Fitzgerald tossed a one-hitter in Tuesday’s victory at Elsberry.
In seven innings, he allowed one run on one hit with four walks, one hit batter and four strikeouts.
“Allen did a great job. In previous games, he’s had more strikeouts. In this game, he pitched to contact and let his defense work behind him,” Cowsert said. “Two of the four walks he allowed were back-to-back in the sixth inning, which is when they scored their only run.”
Tyler Straatmann reached base four times for Post 320 with two hits and two walks to go with one RBI and one run.
Ryan Howell and Fitzgerald (one double) both reached base three times with two hits and one walk.
Howell also scored two runs. Fitzgerald had one RBI.
Ryan Vogelgesang collected two hits and two runs.
Drew Fonner was on base three times with one hit and two walks to go with two RBIs and one run.
Ryan Ray finished with one hit (double), one walk, two RBIs and one run.
Noah Brocato registered one hit, one walk, one RBI and one run.
Alex Rice added one hit.
Pacific scored in every inning, getting single runs in each of the first three innings, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and two in the seventh.
“We played a very good game. We hit the ball well and had good balance up and down the lineup,” Cowsert said. “The guys had confidence in the guys hitting behind them. We got our leadoff batters on base four times and sacrificed them over every time, which led to runs. We played station to station and generated runs.”
Pacific swept Wednesday’s doubleheader over Central with a pair of five-inning shutouts.
In the first game, Brocato was the winning pitcher. In five innings, he allowed no runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
“Noah pitched to contact and we made some good defensive plays,” Cowsert said. “He threw 67 pitches. He filled up the strike zone.”
Brocato also led the offense by going 2-2 at the plate with a walk and two RBIs.
Straatmann reached base three times with one hit, one walk and was hit by a pitch. He added two runs and one RBI.
Fitzgerald collected one hit, three RBIs, two runs and two stolen bases.
Rice finished with one hit, one walk and two runs.
Howell walked twice, was hit by a pitch, scored three runs and had one RBI.
Vogelgesang walked twice, was hit by a pitch and had one RBI.
Fonner walked, was hit by a pitch and had two RBIs. Tyler Gerling walked twice, had one RBI and one run. Ray was hit by a pitch.
“We took advantage of their mistakes,” Cowsert said. “It seemed like if they didn’t walk us, they hit us.”
In the second game, Ray was the winning pitcher. In five innings, he allowed no runs on four hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
“Ryan struggled a little with his location. He fell behind in the count a few times and threw 94 pitches. He did a good job working his way back and our defense made plays behind him,” Cowsert said. “He knows he needs to stay ahead in the count, which will make things easier for him.”
Brocato led the offense again by going 3-3 (one double) at the plate with a walk, four RBIs and three runs. He was 5-5 with two walks and six RBIs in the doubleheader.
“Noah had a great all-around night,” Cowsert said.
Straatmann also was 3-3 with a walk, two runs and one RBI. He was 4-5 and reached base seven times in the twin bill.
“Tyler started the season a little slow. He hit into some tough luck,” Cowsert said. “He’s really coming on now.”
Will Pruden and Fitzgerald both were 2-3 at the plate. Pruden also walked and had three RBIs. Fitzgerald also walked and scored three runs.
Gerling collected one hit (double), one walk, was hit by a pitch and scored two runs.
Austin Kennedy had one hit, two RBIs and two runs.
“Our defense was very good,” Cowsert said. “We didn’t have an error in either game.”
Post 320 won Monday at Sullivan, 15-0.
Straatmann tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out 17 batters and hitting one in seven innings of work.
“Tyler had an impressive performance,” Cowsert said. “He faced 25 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of them. He hit his spots. His curveball was working well.”
Straatmann helped himself at the plate with two hits, one walk, one RBI and one run.
Zack Michalski, Kennedy, Howell, Fitzgerald, Brocato, Vogelgesang, Gerling and Ray each had one hit in the contest.