Inning after inning, Evan Ayers cruised along, pumping in strike after strike.
A solid pitching performance from Ayers led Washington Post 218 to a 4-1 victory over Thoman Boothe in a first round contest of the 2014 Senior Legion Invitational on Wednesday morning at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Due to a schedule change, Washington did not play Thursday and was scheduled to play twice on Friday night, with games against Mayfield and Farmington.
The outcome of those games would determine when Washington would play on Saturday.
Post 218 began the second annual tourney bright and early on Wednesday morning with a 9:30 a.m. contest against Thoman Boothe.
And Ayers didn’t allow much in the complete game victory.
Ayers struck out 11 and walked none while scattering eight hits in seven innings of work. Ayers threw 89 pitches and 73 were strikes. Of the 29 batters he faced, 27 received a first-pitch strike.
“Evan was very efficient,” Post 218 Coach Ben Cassat said. “He was able to go the distance and he was effective hitting his spots. He doesn’t walk a lot of guys, either. We always tell our guys to pitch to contact and let the defense play behind you.”
Washington’s offense produced four runs on six hits. And in this one, that was enough.
“That’s kind of how we’ve been rolling all season,” Cassat said. “We don’t necessarily fill up the stat sheet with 10-12 hits or anything, but we put the ball in play and put the pressure on the opposing defense. And when they don’t make plays, we take advantage and capitalize.”
Thoman Boothe made three errors in the game.
Seth Bollmann, Sam Katzung, Aaron Meyer, Ross Seitter, Mitch Hammack and Justin Baylard all had one hit apiece for Post 218.
In the first inning, Washington got a single from Bollmann and after an out, Katzung reached on an error. Meyer then walked to load the bases. Bollmann scored from third when a pop fly dropped in shallow right field. The play resulted in an out due to the infield fly rule, but the run scored.
Post 218 added to its lead in the second. Baylard reached on a fielder’s choice, went to second on an error and then took third on a ground out. Baylard scored from third on a passed ball to give the hosts a 2-0 cushion.
One inning later, Katzung singled and later scored on Seitter’s sacrifice for a 3-0 lead.
Ayers continued to cruise inning after inning on the hill.
Thoman Boothe Post 338 got on the board in the fourth inning with one run on four-straight singles, but Ayers then worked out of trouble to limit the damage.
Washington added late insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Seitter singled, Mitch Hammack sacrificed and then Baylard singled. Seitter then scored on an error for a 4-1 lead.
Ayers went back to the mound in the seventh and recorded the final three outs.
The tourney continues all weekend. All quarterfinals will be played at Ronsick Field Saturday. The tourney’s semifinals begin Sunday at noon, with the championship game scheduled for 6 p.m.
• Washington 4, Thoman Boothe 1
• Jackson 3, House Springs 2
• Jackson 2, St. Charles 0
• Creve Coeur 3, Jefferson City 3
• West 6, Manchester 5
• Manchester 6, Ballwin 6
• West 9, Ballwin 1