Taking two more steps toward a top seed for the upcoming Ninth District Tournament, the Washington Post 218 Freshman Legion team defeated West and Sullivan Tuesday at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Post 218 (14-0-2, 10-0) defeated West, 11-1, and finished with a 7-1 win over Sullivan Post 18.
“The Sullivan game was the most exciting game of the year so far,” Washington Manager Joe Kopmann said. “West only had nine players, still suffering from the injury bug, Post 218 took advantage of the lack of depth beating them, 11- 1.”
Washington plays twice at Union Saturday, taking on Post 297 at noon and Smithton at 2:30 p.m.
The big showdown at the top of the Ninth District happens Sunday, when Washington goes to Hermann to play Rhineland Post 147 in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.
Rhineland was listed as 14-2 overall, 12-2 in the district, as of Thursday.
Washington’s win over Sullivan in the nightcap, 7-1, was much more than just another mark on the winning side of the ledger. It allowed Post 218 to avenge the lone league loss from last year’s state championship season. It also came against the same pitcher, Garett Juergens.
Last year, Juergens baffled and bewildered Washington batters at Sunny Jim Bottomley Field in Sullivan, 3-2. This year, Post 218 was able to figure out how to hit him enough to win the game.
“It was great to see our boys respond to Sullivan’s first-inning lead with three runs in the bottom of the first with one of the best pitchers in the league, Juergens, on the mound.”
Sullivan took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the rest of the scoring belonged to the home team. Post 218 scored three runs in the bottom of the first and added a run in the second. The final three runs scored in the bottom of the sixth.
Joe Hackmann went the distance for Washington, needing 90 pitches to retire Sullivan seven times. Hackmann allowed one run on three hits and two walks. He struck out 12 Sullivan batters. Hackmann threw two scoreless innings in last year’s game.
“Joe Hackmann threw a awesome game, only giving up three hits after coming back from an injury from football camp,” Kopmann said. “Good pitching, defense and timely hitting will win a lot of games, and that what we had against Sullivan.”
Offensively, Hackmann led the way with two hits, including a double.
Brandon Stahlman also had two hits. Levi Weber, Bryce Mayer, Jack Czeschin and Cody Linders each had one hit.
Weber walked twice. Mayer, Czeschin, Luke Hendrickson and Drew Holtmeyer also walked.
Holtmeyer bunted, Mayer hit a sacrifice fly and Weber stole a base.
Weber scored twice. Mayer, Jared Schrader, Hendrickson, Linders and Holtmeyer also scored.
Hackmann had two RBIs and Mayer and Czeschin each drove in one.
For Sullivan, Juergens pitched the first five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks. He struck out eight.
Josh Wiese pitched one inning, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks. He struck out one.
Juergens had two of the three Sullivan hits, including a triple. Braden Carey had the other hit.
Juergens scored the run. Josh Earney and Alec Bell each walked. Juergens stole a base.
In the first game, Washington rolled to an 11-1 win over West in Ninth District action.
Washington scored four times in the second, three in the third and each team scored once in the fourth. Post 218 added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to end it early on the run rule.
Schrader started and was the winning pitcher. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and two walks while fanning 10.
“Jared Schrader pitched a heck of a game getting the win,” Kopmann said.
Hendrickson pitched the last inning, allowing a walk. He struck out one.
Josh Garbs led the offense with four hits, including three doubles. Czeschin and Lewis Paule each had two hits. Paule doubled.
Nick Hellmann also doubled. Hackmann, Bryce Mayer, Will Heggemann, Brayden Mayer and Evan Comely each singled.
Bryce Mayer walked twice. Eli Humpherys, Stahlman and Paule walked. Czeschin and Humpherys were hit by pitches.
Heggemann hit a sacrifice fly. Hackmann stole two bases while Czeschin and Bryce Mayer each had one steal.
Paule and Garbs each scored three times. Czeschin scored twice. Bryce Mayer, Linders and Comely each scored once.
Hackmann and Heggemann had two RBIs apiece. Weber, Humpherys, Bryce Mayer, Czeschin, Paule, Garbs and Comely each drove in one.
Grady Ripple took the loss for West, pitching the first two innings. Zach Trehn, John Reynolds and Aaron Turner also pitched.
Trehn and Ripple had the two West hits. Trehn scored the run and also walked.
Brendon Droece drove in the run. Owen Garrett and Andrew Chastain also walked. Garrett stole two bases.