An early lead made sure the season continued for the Pacific Post 320 Freshmen Sunday.
Post 320 (13-5) eliminated Washington Post 218 (18-9) from the Ninth District Tournament with a 5-4 win. That came after a 9-6 loss Saturday to Rosebud Post 587 (6-9) in the first round.
Sunday’s win against Post 218 earned Post 320 a rematch with Rosebud Monday in the fourth-place eliminator game of the double-elimination tournament, which resulted in another Rosebud win.
Posts 320 and 218 traded runs back and forth for the first two innings, getting one score apiece in each of the first two frames.
“This game was probably the most intense of the season especially given the circumstances of lose and go home,” Post 320 Manager Ryan Carter said.
Post 320 then rallied for three runs in the third inning to take a 5-2 lead that held up the rest of the way.
Post 218 added two runs in the top of the sixth, but those were the only tallies from the fourth inning on.
“(That) was another game where we couldn’t get a key hit,” Post 218 Manager Joe Kopmann said.
Jack Meyer threw the complete game to earn the victory for Post 320. In seven innings pitched, he allowed four runs, one earned, on eight hits and no walks, striking out eight.
“Jack Meyer pitched a great game and it’s exactly what we needed on the mound,” Carter said. “We played a clean defense, for the most part, behind him. We had a couple mishaps late defensively but we were able to control the damage. We could have fallen apart quick but we were able to pick it up.”
Opposing Meyer for Post 218 was Wyatt Sneed, who allowed five runs over six innings on eight hits and two walks. Sneed recorded four strikeouts.
“Sneed pitched really well, keeping it close,” Kopmann said. “He went the distance. Our offense just couldn’t get a key hit off Pacific’s pitcher Jack Meyer, We had (runners on) second and third with one out in the seventh and couldn’t get the tying run across. It was a good season for Post 218, going 18-9, but not what we were hoping for.”
Trevor Klund, Meyer and Weston Kulick led Post 320 with two hits apiece.
Klund, Andrew Payne and Cole Hansmann rapped out doubles with the other five Pacific hits all going for singles.
“Offensively, we had some big timely hits, especially a two-RBI double by Cole Hansmann,” Carter said. “It was great to see our kids get after it from the start and battle the whole way through.”
Payne, Kulick, Ryan Bruns, Ethan Simpson and Cade Martin each scored a run.
Hansmann drove in two runs. Klund, Meyer and Bruns picked up one RBI apiece.
Matthew Reinke put down a sacrifice bunt.
Meyer and Bruns both reached on walks.
Wesley Branson, Bruns and Martin each stole a base.
Post 218 tallied eight singles in the contest, three off the bat of Scott Gross.
Cody Vondera added two hits. Zach Mort, Luke Kleekamp and Kabren Koelling connected for one hit each.
Mort, Kleekamp, Gross and Aden Pecka scored the four Washington runs.
Vondera and Morgan Copeland were each credited with a run batted in.
Owen Struckhoff put down a sacrifice bunt and Vondera delivered a sacrifice fly.
Mort led the team on the bases with four steals.
Dason Gould, Gross, Koelling, Lucas Newhouse and Pecka stole one base each.
In the first-round contest, Post 320 struck first with a run in the first inning and added one in the third, two in the fifth and two in the seventh.
Rosebud got two of its runs in the second inning, one in the third and six in the fifth.
“It was hard to get the bats going early,” Carter said. “We didn’t show up on the offensive side till late in the game, which is what we’ve been doing lately. I thought we came out a little flat and that is something you can’t do against any team during the postseason. All in all we did not do the little things right to win the game.”
Teams were even at the plate with 10 hits apiece and two errors in the field.
Branson, Martin and Reinke split the pitching duties for Pacific in the contest.
Branson went 2.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits and a walk, striking out four.
Martin tossed 1.2 innings and allowed six runs on five hits and three walks, recording two strikeouts.
Reinke fired the final 2.2 innings and allowed no runs on one hit and no walks.
Reinke’s double was the big hit for Post 320.
Klund, Kulick and Ayden Biedenstein all singled twice. Meyer, Payne and Martin each rapped out a single.
Payne and Hansmann both scored two runs. Meyer and Reinke added a run each.
Kulick and Biedenstein drove in two runs apiece.
Reinke, Kulick and Carter Myers all drew a walk.
Biedenstein, Bruns and Payne were hit by pitches.
Hansmann and Biedenstein both stole a base.