With a victory Wednesday over Pacific, the Washington Post 218 Freshmen secured the top seed for next week’s Ninth District Tournament.
Washington (17-6, 9-1) scored three runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back in a 11-1 victory in six innings over Pacific Post 320 at Pacific High School.
“We jumped out ahead, which is what you want to do against every team,” said Post 218 Manager Jordan Bierbaum. “We knew this was a game that we had to have, so our guys were up for it. We had some hits that found the gaps and we got some early runs.”
Washington and Elsberry tied for first place in the final Ninth District regular season standings with 9-1 records.
Post 218 won the tiebreaker over Elsberry, which was run differential, and earned the top seed for the district tournament, which begins Tuesday in Elsberry.
The tournament brackets will be announced Saturday.
“After winning state last your, our expectation for the season was trying to get back to state. The district tournament is where you go to do that and we’re in a good spot with the No. 1 seed,” Bierbaum said. “We fulfilled our first goal of what we’re looking for this year.”
Pacific (9-10, 5-5) will be seeded fourth in the district tournament, according to Post 320 Manager Nathan Bruns.
“It looks like we might see St. Charles in the first round,” Bruns said. “I’m looking forward to the tournament. I think we have the pitching to make a good run. I believe we can win it. Our boys just have to believe it.”
Gus Kleekamp pitched all six innings for Post 218. He allowed one run on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
“Gus has done a good job all year. He wasn’t getting some calls early on, but he battled through it,” Bierbaum said. “He showed a lot of character on the mound and really worked to get through the game.”
Tristan Longsdon was Pacific’s starting pitcher and took the loss. In four innings, he allowed eight runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Jacob Michael tossed two innings in relief. He allowed three runs, one earned, on one hit with three walks and two strikeouts.
“Tristan didn’t throw the ball bad. Washington came to hit. Offensively, we had a good first inning, but couldn’t put anything together after that. We had our opportunities,” Bruns said. “Washington always has a good program. I’m glad we played them right before the district tournament. It’s a measuring stick for us. I thought we competed. Our effort was good.”
After its three-run first inning, Washington added two runs in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth and three in the sixth.
Pacific scored its lone run in the bottom of the first inning.
Kleekamp helped himself at the plate with two hits, one walk and three runs.
Blake Pickard added two hits, one walk, two runs and one RBI.
Will Davis collected two hits, two RBIs and one run.
Trey Hunter finished with one hit, three RBIs and one run.
James Dyson had one hit, one walk and one RBI.
Nik Alferman collected one hit and one RBI.
Daniel Diener added one hit and one run.
Joseph Grant and Jeremy Monehan both walked and scored. Kody Halmich scored a run.
“Our offense has been consistent all year. We had a little hiccup against Elsberry where we met a pitcher who took it to us a little. He threw it a little harder. We weren’t quite ready for him. I’m glad that we’ve seen him. I’m sure we’ll see him again,” Bierbaum said. “We’re confident with the lineup we have. We have capable guys and we’ve done a good job with two-out hitting.”
Austin Muich and Tyler Gerling both had two hits for Pacific. Gerling scored a run. Muich had one RBI.
Longsdon added one hit. Alex Westermann walked twice. Sam Fuchs and Michael both walked once.