It wasn’t the end to the night Union wanted.

After the Post 297 Freshmen (21-4) topped Washington Post 218, there was an immediate turnaround to play back-to-back against Hannibal Post 55 (17-6-2) for the championship that same night. Despite an early Union lead, Hannibal was able to take control of the game and win the tournament championship, 13-3.

“It was a long tournament and playing two games in one day and being short on pitching we had to play the perfect game and it didn’t happen,” Post 297 Manager Ryan Bailey said. “It didn’t help that Hannibal is a very good hitting team. In short, we just got beat by a better team. Hopefully, with a week off we’ll catch them next week in a slump and some of our bats will wake up again and we’ll have a different result at state.”

Union scored all three of its runs in the top of the first inning.

After the first two batters were retired, Isaiah Hoelscher reached on a walk and then Dylan McLone singled and Nathan Bagley was hit by the pitch. Rylee Arts ran for McLone, the starting pitcher.

Hoelscher then drew a pickoff attempt at third and scored when the return throw to the plate went wide.

A double in the gap from Dallas Owens brought Arts and Bagley home.

Hannibal got two runs back in the first and then five runs in the second and five more in the fourth. Post 55 added a final run in the fifth to stop the contest with a 10-run lead.

“We had a couple plays where we need to be better to compete at state,” Bailey said. “Some ground balls that need to be fielded, a foul pop out that has to be caught, a pickoff we needed, and a tag play that was botched all came at bad moments to help them build or extend the lead. It’s just guys trying to play the game too fast because they want to win so much. As a coach you like that but we have to relax and play the game as it’s given. We’ll be fine. I like our team and the effort we’ll get from the boys at state.”

Of three Union hits, Owens doubled and Mason Bailey and McLone both singled.

Will Beckman walked twice.

Canyon Terrill, Hoelscher and McLone each walked once.

Bagley and Owens were hit by pitches.

Mason Bailey and McLone both stole a base.

McLone threw 1.2 innings on the mound. He allowed seven runs, five earned, on six hits and four walks with two strikeouts.

Beckman went three innings in relief and allowed six runs on eight hits with three walks and one strikeout.

Caleb Young pitched the complete game for Union. He allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits and five walks with four strikeouts.

“Hannibal’s pitcher was good but we didn’t strike out a lot so I’m proud of our team for that. We battled and put the ball in play but just couldn’t find a hole in their defense,” Ryan Bailey said.

Kegan Birck connected for three of Hannibal’s 14 hits.

Charles Clup, Mason Tharp, Drake Dudley, Jack Kirby and Young each had two hits.

Gary Culp rapped out one hit.

Birck, Charles Culp, Dudley, Tharp and Young each doubled. All other Hannibal hits were singles.

Tharp scored three runs. Charles Culp, Garrett Lillard, Brody Lehenbauer and Hunter Scrogin all scored twice. Young and Dudley both scored once.

Birck drove in three runs. Charles Culp picked up two RBIs. Gary Culp, Tharp, Young and Lillard each drove in one run.

Lillard and Lehenbauer both walked twice. Tharp, Young and Charles Culp walked one time each.

Kirby reached on an error.

Lillard was hit by a pitch and stole two bases.

Dudley, Kirby, Lehenbauer, Scrogin, Tharp and Young all stole a base.

Both Hannibal and Union, as well as Post 218, had all earned a place in the state championship tournament prior to Monday’s games. State tournament action will begin next Wednesday, July 11, at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.