Runs in the final two innings for Hannibal Post 55 prevented a sweep Saturday at Pacific High School.
The Pacific Post 320 Freshmen (6-2, 4-2) nearly pulled off wins in both Ninth District games against the northernmost opponent. Post 320 won the first game of the doubleheader with Post 55 (3-1), 7-1. Hannibal came back to win the second contest, 2-1.
Both teams entered Tuesday in an official four-way tie for the district lead with Union Post 297 (2-0) and Washington Post 218 (3-1).
Post 320 got out to the early lead with three runs in the second inning and one in the third.
Hannibal managed its one run in the top of the sixth before Pacific finished with a three-run rally in the home half of that frame.
Wesley Branson earned the win. In 4.1 innings pitched, he held Hannibal scoreless on two hits and eight walks with eight strikeouts.
“We took advantage of some opportunities in the second to jump out to a three-run lead,” Post 320 Manager Ryan Carter said. “ Our pitcher, Wesley, pitched pretty well for us. He found some trouble with eight walks, but was able to pitch out of some tough spots. I was very happy with our defense. We made some great plays behind Wesley.”
Ethan Simpson closed out the win on 2.2 innings pitched. Simpson allowed one run on two hits and struck out three.
Pacific put together six hits, led by a double and a single from Simpson.
Carter Myers, Matthew Reinke, Ryan Bruns and Trevor Klund each singled.
Simpson drove in two runs. Myers and Klund each collected one run batted in.
Courtesy runner Cole Hansmann scored two runs. Jack Meyer, Myers, Weston Kulick, Reinke and Simpson all scored once.
Meyer, Kulick, Reinke and Branson each walked. Myers was hit by a pitch.
Meyer and Myers stole two bases apiece. Kulick and Hansmann each stole one.
“I thought our base running was a strong point for us,” Carter said. “Being able to take an extra bag and steal seven bases helped put the pressure on their defense.”
The two teams remained in a scoreless tie until the top of the sixth inning when Pacific pushed one run across.
Post 55 came back with one run in the bottom of the sixth and the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
Post 320 held Hannibal to just three hits in the game, but allowed a total of nine walks.
Kulick started on the mound and went 5.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits and four walks. Kulick recorded four strikeouts.
Andrew Payne attempted to close out the sixth inning, but walked the only two batters he faced.
Simpson came on to finish out that frame and was credited with one inning pitched in the nightcap. Simpson allowed one run on one hit and three walks with three strikeouts.
Hannibal ended the game by scoring on a bases-loaded walk.
“This one definitely stung,” Carter said. “We could not get much going with runners in scoring position. We ended up leaving 11 on base and that’s the ball game for us. Our starter, Weston Kulick, was able to pitch out of some jams and pitched well. (He) only gave up two hits with one earned run. Not a bad day for him on the mound. Obviously, at the end, walks and hit batsmen was the only way Hannibal pushed their runs across. We just needed a couple more hits in some spots and that’s a different ball game.”
Post 320 totaled six hits in the game, all singles. Ayden Biedenstein picked up two hits. Reinke, Kulick, Dylan Mooney and Hansmann had one hit apiece.
Simpson scored the lone Pacific run.
Bruns, Meyer, Simpson and Kulick all walked. Biedenstein and Simpson were hit by pitches.
Hansmann and Meyer both stole a base.
Post 320 played on the road Tuesday at Sullivan Post 18. Pacific will next play against that same Sullivan team on June 12 at 6 p.m.