The Union Post 297 Freshmen made the most of their opportunities with runners on base.
Union (5-4) started Ninth District play 1-0 with a 5-1 victory on the road at Pacific Post 320 (3-1) Tuesday.
The teams worked through a mild thunderstorm in the area for the first three innings and sporadic rain for two hours to get the game in.
Post 297 scored more runs, five, than it had hits, four, in the contest. Union posted two runs in the top of the first inning and rallied for three more runs in the seventh.
“With weather coming in we talked about getting out to an early lead and we were able to do that,” Post 297 Manager Ryan Bailey said. “We didn’t have the best day at the plate but we got half of our hits in the first and along with a strikeout that we were able to reach first base on we got two runs.”
Post 320 posted its lone run in the fifth inning.
“We gave Union a couple opportunities and they capitalized on them in the first and that’s what really hurt us,” Post 320 Manager Ryan Carter said. “We didn’t have the timely hitting we needed, leaving six runners on base. The walks at the end hurt us as well.”
Hayden Burke had two of the Union hits, both singles, stole a base, scored a run and collected two runs batted in.
“We were able to break the game open in the seventh when we took four walks and then got a bases loaded single by Hayden Burke to score two,” Bailey said. “Hayden has been hitting the ball well this summer and he came through big for us again.”
Marshall Gebert and Nick Birke both singled and drove in a run.
Luke Koch walked and scored with one RBI.
Jayden Overschmidt, Alex Kuelker and Ryan Ewald each scored a run.
Overschmidt walked twice. Gebert, Kuelker and Ewald each walked once.
Cooper Bailey was hit by a pitch and stole two bases.
On the mound for Post 297, Liam Hughes was the winning pitcher. Hughes threw five innings and allowed one run on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Kuelker closed out the game. In the final two innings, he allowed no runs and walked one batter with two strikeouts.
Post 320 batters accumulated one double and four singles in the contest.
Trevor Klund had the double while Jack Meyer, Andrew Payne, Ethan Simpson and Ryan Bruns all singled.
Bruns scored the lone Pacific run. He was driven in by Klund.
Carter Myers reached on a walk.
Meyer stole two bases and Myers stole one.
Meyer pitched the first six innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts.
“Jack pitched a great game for us only giving up one earned run on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts — pretty good night for him,” Carter said. “Have to tip your hat to the Union pitchers. They pitched a pretty good game.”
Myers took over and inherited a baserunner in the seventh inning. In one inning of work, he surrendered two runs on one hit and four walks with one strikeout.
Post 297 hosted Sullivan Post 18 in its next district contest on Friday.
Post 320 will take on Hannibal Post 55 at home Saturday at 1 p.m. in a doubleheader.