Continuing as one of the hottest clubs in Ninth District Freshman Legion baseball, Union Post 297 swept Rhineland Post 147 Tuesday in a doubleheader in Montgomery County, 9-8 and 12-2.
Union improved to 8-2 overall, 5-0 in the Ninth District. Rhineland dropped to 5-7 overall, 1-4 in the Ninth District.
In the opener, Union broke a 6-6 tie in the seventh with three runs and then held on in the bottom of the inning to win, 9-8.
“It was not a very pretty game but a win is a win,” Post 297 Manager Ryan Bailey said. “We made too many errors in the game and had trouble finding the strike zone with walks and hit batters. Free baserunners and extra outs are a death sentence in Legion baseball and luckily we got some clemency last night. We were able to string some hits together in the 7th to gain the lead but we also got some help from Rhineland with some walks and an error. Freshmen Legion baseball can often times become a battle of who makes the least mistakes. That was definitely the case Tuesday night.”
Union scored first, getting a run in the top of the second. Rhineland came back and took the lead, 2-1.
The teams switched in the third with Union scoring twice and Rhineland getting a run. Rhineland then broke the 3-3 tie in the fourth with three more runs.
That’s how it stood until the top of the sixth when Union scored three times to tie it, 6-6. Union added three more runs in the seventh to go up, 9-6, but Rhineland clawed two of those runs back in the bottom of the inning.
“A big play in the seventh inning was Canyon Terrill’s perfect safety squeeze bunt that let us add another run to our lead,” Bailey said. “We go over that stuff during the high school season but I don’t think they’ve had many or any opportunities to use it this year. We put the play on and he executed his bunt perfectly and Wyatt Sherman ran the bases perfectly and it worked like a gem. It’s not as flashy or big as a triple to clear the bases but it’s those little things that add up to big wins. I was very proud of Canyon for coming through in the clutch.”
Union used four pitchers in the game.
Evan Hall got the start and went 2.2 innings, allowing three unearned runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out four.
Rylee Arts got two outs, allowing three runs on two hits and two hit batters. He struck out one.
Will Beckman pitched 1.2 innings, allowing a walk and hitting a batter.
Dylan McLone got the win, going two innings while allowing two unearned runs on three hits. He struck out three.
Ethan Towery started for Rhineland, pitching five innings while allowing six runs on 12 hits. He struck out five.
Jeb Seaver took the loss. Over two innings, he allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk. He fanned one.
Offensively, Jude Tenny, Evan Hall and Terrill each had three hits for Union.
Hayden Schiller posted two hits, including a double.
“Hayden Schiller came through at the plate for us in a big way,” said Bailey. “He had two doubles and three RBIs on the night with his last RBI giving us the lead in the seventh. He has some power and has been making good contact lately. He has been a kid who has improved so much from where he was as an eighth grader. It makes a coach happy to see a kid who has worked hard get some success on the field. Hopefully we can keep riding his hot bat.”
One-hit batters were Mason Bailey, McLone, Tanner Hall and Beckman.
Tanner Hall drew the lone walk.
Evan Hall and Sherman each stole two bases. McLone, Tenny and Tanner Hall had one steal apiece.
Evan Hall added a sacrifice fly.
McLone, Sherman and Tanner Hall each scored twice. Tenny, Terrill and Arts scored once.
Schiller had three RBIs. Tenny drove in two. Mason Bailey, Evan Hall and Terrill each had one RBI.
Seth Wilkerson and Towery each had two hits. Cameron Michel, Parker Anderson, Jeb Seaver and Jace Humphery each had one hit. Anderson’s hit was a double.
The nightcap was quite different as Union rolled to a 12-2 win in six innings.
Union was the home team for the game and scored three in the bottom of the third. Each team scored twice in the fourth before Union added three runs in the fifth and four in the sixth.
“I was pleased with the team as we played a much cleaner game in the nightcap,” Bailey said. “We also did a much better job of making the smart play and slowing the game down. Our Freshmen Legion team has talent but we need to teach them to understand the game better and pick up on the little things that baseball entails. But we are a group of fighters who never give up and that is something I think every coach would like in their dugout. These boys will keep working to improve their baseball skills and knowledge but so long as we don’t lose our competitiveness we’ll give ourselves a chance in every game.”
Union used three pitchers in the game with Tenny getting the win. He went three innings, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out five.
Terrill got one out, allowing two runs on three walks.
Bailey earned a save, pitching the final 2.2 innings, allowing two runs and a walk. He struck out four batters.
Rhineland needed five pitchers to get through the game with Dylon Theissen, Kenny Hoener, Gavin Hackmann, Michael Huelskamp and Blake Hoener each throwing.
Kenny Hoener took the loss.
Offensively, Union was paced by Collin Gerdel, who had three hits, including a double.
“Collin Gerdel had a great second game,” Bailey said. “Collin missed some time while on vacation so getting him some action is important. He collected the final out on a tough pop fly in the first game and then was able to come out and swing a hot bat in the second. He really teed off on a bases loaded bases clearing double that ended the game in the fifth by mercy rule. Every hot bat we can get we’ll take as we keep trying to win every district game we can.”
Sherman recorded two hits. McLone doubled. Colten Anderson, Arts, Dawson Hix and Bailey each had one hit.
Sherman, Arts, Dallas Owens, Hix, Beckman and Evan Hall walked. Terrill, Owens and Arts were hit by pitches. Bailey added a sacrifice fly.
Hix swiped two bases while Beckman, McLone, Terrill, Gedel, Nathan Bagley, Owens and Arts stole one base apiece.
Bailey scored three runs. Gerdel and Hix each scored twice. Sherman, McLone, Beckman, Evan Hall and Terrill scored once.
Gerdel drove in three. Colten Anderson and Arts each drove in two runs. Owens, Hix and Bailey drove in one run apiece.
“I was very pleased with how we swung the bats in the second game,” Bailey said. “We finished with 10 hits and Dawson Hix and Wyatt Sherman were able to get their first hits of the season. Dawson hit the ball hard in the first game but it was just right at Rhineland players so it was nice for him to find that first hit in Game 2. Wyatt had two sharply hit balls and getting him on base is key because he brings some speed to the basepaths. The more guys we can get to be playing good is important for our team moving forward.”
Parker Anderson, Kenny Hoener, JJ Mundwiller and Blake Hoener recorded the Rhineland hits. Mundwiller doubled.