SEDALIA — Riding the arm of Tony Helfrich, the 2012 Washington Post 218 Senior Legion team did something it hasn't in four previous visits to the state tournament in Sedalia — win its first-round game.

Post 218 defeated Hillcrest, 6-1, Thursday afternoon to advance to Friday's 1 p.m. winners' bracket final against either Creve Coeur Post 397 or Independence Post 21. Those teams play in the second game Thursday night.

Helfrich held Hillcrest to just three hits and one walk over eight innings, going long enough for the offense to take advantage of Hillcrest mistakes in the top of the eighth.

Leading 1-0, Hillcrest pitcher Tyler Ray committed an error on a ground ball by Matt Jones. What would have been the third out ended up turning into a huge inning. Jones scored to make it 4-0, but the big hit was to come.

Sam Deschenes, honoring his mother's birthday, lined a home run out over the left field corner to make it 6-0 and give Post 218 the breathing room it needed to earn the win.

Hillcrest scored its only run in the bottom of the ninth. Zach Pointer pitched the final inning, earning a strikeout to close it out.

The game story and photos will be in the Weekend Missourian.