Don’t hand the Ninth District Freshman Legion regular season title to Washington just yet.
That’s the message the Pacific Post 320 Freshmen have sent.
Pacific (12-2, 10-2) swept three games this week to make Saturday’s 1 p.m. game against Washington Post 218 (28-1, 12-0) at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field even more important to the final standings.
Pacific has done what it needs to do to keep pace by sweeping St. Peters Tuesday, 7-4 and 12-2, and then beating the North Knights at home on Thursday, 14-4.
And Pacific has secured at least second in the league, according to standings reported as of Friday morning.
Pacific holds a three-game lead over North (10-6, 6-5). St. Peters stands at 17-12 overall, 7-6 in the league. St. Charles is 7-8 overall and 6-6 in league action.
To place higher, Pacific needs help. Washington plays Central (2-14, 1-11) at 11 a.m., just before the Washington-Pacific game. Should Washington win that game, it will have the regular season title and the top seed for the district tournament.
Pacific plays Central Tuesday, July 3, at C&H Park to close out the regular season. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
“My guys are starting to get used to the wood bats and we are making better contact,” Pacific Coach Cody Kelley said. “We are starting to get healthy too hopefully Hunter Finney will be back by tournament time.”
The Ninth District Tournament will start July 8 and be a double-elimination event. The district tournament winner will advance to the Missouri State Freshman Legion Tournament in Branson starting July 18.
Each of the seven districts will have a representative in the state event. Branson, the host team, will be the eighth squad. It will run like the district tournament with eight teams in a double-elimination format.
There is no level beyond state for Freshman Legion teams.
Pacific picked up a crucial sweep at City Centre Park in St. Peters Tuesday, 7-4 and 12-2.
In the first game, Pacific outhit St. Peters, 11-9.
Nick Hogan pitched the first six innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and five walks. He struck out four.
“Nick Hogan started for us on the mound,” Kelley said. “Nick can be one of our best pitchers but he’s been hurt for part of the year and we are just now getting him back on the mound. He pitched well he’s not all the way back yet but we made some plays behind him to keep St. Peters from having the big inning.”
Brett Mann earned the save, throwing the last inning. He allowed one hit.
Offensively, Mann led the way with three hits. He scored once and drove in two.
Randy Chitwood had two hits, one run and two RBIs.
Ryan Howell contributed two hits, an RBI and a stolen base.
Eain Roberts had two hits and scored twice.
Noah Brocato doubled and scored twice.
L.B. Smith had one hit, drove in a run a sacrificed.
Ryan Vogelsang drove in a run.
Dalton Mathis sacrificed twice.
“We had some timely hitting and got some sacrifices down in key spots,” Kelley said. “Brett Mann had a big game for us with three hits. St. Peters threw their best pitcher at us and we did a good job putting the ball in play against him.”
Logan Wilcox went the distance for St. Peters. Only three of the runs were earned. He allowed 10 hits and two walks while striking out three.
Jackson Mueller and Pendilton Whaley each had two hits. Mueller had the only extra-base hit for St. Peters, a double.
The second game lasted five innings with Pacific winning, 12-2.
Pacific outhit St. Peters in the game, 10-3.
Drew Fonner went the distance, earning the shutout while giving up only two hits. He struck out a pair.
“Drew Fonner started on the mound for us this was his first game back on the mound since he hurt his elbow in the Washington game,” Kelley said. “I only wanted to use him for five innings so I’m glad we scored nine in the bottom of the fifth because I would of had a tough decision to make if it was close, I would of probably let him go for the sixth.”
Mathis led the team in hitting with three singles. He scored twice and drove in one.
Fonner helped his own cause with two hits, including a double, two runs and an RBI.
Mann had the biggest hit, a triple. He also walked, scored and drove in four runs.
Chitwood singled, walked, scored twice and drove in a run.
Hogan had one hit, one run, an RBI and a walk.
Bailey Watson singled, scored and drove in a run.
Vogelsang singled, walked, scored and drove in a run.
Roberts walked, scored and drove in a run.
Ryan Howell scored a run.
“We had 10 hits in the second game and took a lot of walks most of which came in the bottom of the fifth,” Kelley said. “Brett Mann had a triple and four RBI’s. Drew Fonner had two hits and Dalton Mathis had three hits”
Pacific took care of business at home Thursday night with a 14-4 win in five innings against the North Knights.
Chitwood and Mann each had three hits in the game. Chitwood drove home two runs.
Roberts had two hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Howell had one hit, two walks, three runs and three stolen bases.
“Everyone in our lineup made solid contact tonight,” said Kelley. “We did a good job putting pressure on their defense. We came out swinging right from the start and jumped to 3-0 after one inning.”
Roberts was the starting pitcher and went 3.2 innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits, four walks and one hit batter. He struck out seven.
Smith closed out the game, tossing the final 1.1 innings. He struck out one and earned the win.
“Eain threw the ball pretty well,” Kelley said. “Walks were what hurt him. If he can cut those down he will be really good. He got into trouble in the fourth and gave up a two-run double that tied the game, so we went to one of my eighth graders, Smith. It was his first time pitching for me and he got us out of the jam in the fourth and went 1-2-3 in the fifth, I was very impressed.”