Scoring in the bottom of the sixth, the Washington Post 218 Junior Legion team secured a spot in the Ninth District Tournament winners’ bracket final.
Washington (18-3), the second seed, edged third-seeded Union (16-8) at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field, 2-1.
Each side scored once in the fifth before Washington got the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Union outhit Washington in the game, 3-2, and each side made four errors.
Both starting pitchers, Washington’s Caleb Kleekamp and Union’s Coleton Anderson, went six innings.
Kleekamp got the win, allowing an unearned run on three hits, two walks and a hit batter. He struck out eight.
“Caleb Kleekamp was the ticket for us to a rematch with Rhineland,” Washington Post 218 Manager Kent Getsee said. “He came out and pitched a fantastic game and kept Union to a single unearned run. He worked out of a few jams and exemplified why he’s an elite pitcher.
“To keep a great team like Union off the board for the most part is an amazing feat when you see all the weapons they have,” Getsee said. “They have speed and power which you have to respect and Caleb along with Sam Heggemann his battery mate were fantastic. Sam Heggemann really took charge behind the plate in this game. Twice he read plays ahead of the bunt and we cut down their lead runners on bunts. He is our field leader and does it in solid fashion.”
Anderson went the distance, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and one walk. He fanned seven.
“Offensively, we had to make some things happen because Union’s Colton Anderson was very tough on us,” Getsee said. “He’s a good arm with some serious determination and we had to put some things together to get ahead.”
Ethan Mort got the save, pitching a scoreless seventh. He hit one batter and got out of the game on a double play.
“Ethan Mort came in to close the game out in the seventh and used eight pitches to finish the game off,” Getsee said. “Morty is tough on guys with the run on his fastball and difficult release point, so hitters can figure him our right away. That was two saves in a row for him and he’s enjoying that role.”
Offensively, there wasn’t much for either team. Sam Heggemann and Jack Lackman had the Washington hits. Heggemann doubled.
Calvin Straatmann walked. Gavin Mueller sacrificed.
Heggemann and Jacob Lombardo scored the runs.
“Sam Heggemann and Jack Lackman delivered the big blows plating and scoring runs,” Getsee said. “We had to work for everything we received. This was just one of those games that it was a shame somebody had to lose.”
Union’s three hits were singles by Mason Bailey, Anderson and Isaiah Hoelscher.
Hayden Schiller and Rylee Arts walked. Dylan McLone was hit by pitches twice.
McLone also stole a base and scored the run.
“Alex (Weinhold) and Mark (Beckman) do a great job with that team,” Getsee said. “They’re quality coaches and fun to coach against and this close contest was just another example of that.”