Only two wins Sunday would keep the season going for the Washington Post 218 Senior Legion team.
Post 218 (36-7) defeated St. Charles Post 312 twice Sunday at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field to win the Zone 1 Tournament championship.
Washington won the opener, 9-4, and then prevailed in the winner-take-all contest, 17-4.
With the win, Post 218 will play Thursday at 5 p.m. in Sedalia against Joplin in the opening game of the Missouri State Tournament. The other game, to start at 8 p.m., will be between Independence Post 21 and either Creve Coeur or Ballwin. The Creve Coeur-Ballwin game was rained out Sunday and will take place Monday.
At the state tournament, Washington is the only team returning from last year. Gone is multiple-time defending champion Festus Post 253, which lost earlier this weekend in its zone event.
The Missouri champion will continue play in the Regional Tournament in New Orleans.
Complete Zone Tournament coverage and a preview of the State Tournament will appear in the Wednesday Missourian.
First Title Game
After rain Sunday morning, the tournament had to be pushed back to a 1 p.m. start, a two-hour delay.
Post 218 got a complete game from Tony Helfrich, who needed 90 pitches to put down St. Charles.
Helfrich allowed four runs on seven hits and one hit batter while fanning seven Post 312 batters.
Spencer Pugh took the loss for St. Charles, going three innings. Alexander Rael closed out the game for Post 312.
St. Charles scored twice in the top of the first inning. Post 218 responded with one run in the bottom of the first, two in the second, two in the third and two in the fourth to go up, 7-2.
St. Charles scored its final two runs in the top of the fifth. Washington added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Trent Leimkuehler and Mike McGilvray each had three hits in the game.
Matt Jones had the biggest hit, a home run. It was a two-run shot to center field in the third inning. He ended with two hits. Grant Eckelkamp and Jack Kopmann also had two hits each.
Noah Borgerding cloud with one hit.
St. Charles had two-hit games from Adam Ricks, Kyle Kramer and Brandon Brett.
Washington outhit St. Charles, 13-7. St. Charles made three errors. Washington left 10 runners on base to four for St. Charles.
Behind the rally cry, "Woo Yeah!" Post 218 rolled to a 17-4 win in the second game.
Washington set the tone for the second championship game by scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Each team scored once in the second. St. Charles scored twice in the third. Washington bounced back with four runs in the bottom of the frame to take an 11-3 advantage.
Each team scored once in the fourth. Post 218 scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and three times in the sixth.
After a scoreless top of the seventh, Washington won on the 10-run mercy rule, 17-4.
Post 218 outhit St. Charles, 18-8. St. Charles made five errors. Washington left eight on base while St. Charles stranded seven.
Washington needed three pitchers to finish the game. Luke Hasenjaeger pitched the first 2.2 innings before giving way to Zach Pointer.
Pointer managed to get out of the third inning, but was relieved in the fourth by Matt Jones.
Jones finished out the game, throwing the final four innings.
Pointer received credit for the win.
Travis Weidenbenner suffered the loss, going 1.1 innings. Austin Olendorff, Chris Lindhoff, Kyle Kramer and Michael Pundmann followed Weidenbenner to the hill.
Offensively, Post 218 continued its power surge. Trent Leimkuehler led the way with two home runs. He had three this in the game.
Dustin Howard also had three hits in the contest for Washington.
Jones, Sam Deschenes and Jack Kopmann recorded two hits each. Kopmann lined a home run over the left field fence.
Grant Eckelkamp, Dilan Bollmann, Mike McGilvray, David McNeal, Brendan Kleekamp and Noah Borgerding each had one hit in the game.
St. Charles got two hits from Pundmann, Kramer and Rael. Ricks and Andrew Holtgreive each had one hit in the contest.