Playing a non-district doubleheader Saturday at Pacific High School, the Pacific Post 320 Juniors suffered their first loss of the baseball season, splitting the two games against House Springs.
Pacific (13-1, 9-0) lost the first game 4-1, but bounced back to claim the nightcap, 6-4.
With it being a non-district game, Post 320 used metal bats in the first game, but switched over to wood bats in the second.
House Springs used metal bats in both contests.
“I didn’t know House Springs was using aluminum bats until the first batter of the game. We had a couple of aluminum bats with us and let our kids swing them in the first game,” said Post 320 Manager Cory Cowsert. “With the metal bats in their hands and the short porch in left field, our kids tried to hit it out and we had a ton of fly balls for outs. So I took the metal bats away in the second game and we went to the wood bats. Those fly balls turned into line drives.”
Post 320 managed just four hits in the first game.
Ryan Howell, Tyler Gerling, Allen Fitzgerald and Drew Fonner each collected one hit. Fitzgerald scored the lone run on an RBI by Fonner.
Ryan Ray got the start on the mound and suffered the loss. In six innings, he allowed three runs on eight hits with one walk and nine strikeouts.
“Ryan did well. He just made a couple of mistakes. He lived at the belt too much instead of at the knees,” Cowsert said. “They had some good hits, but some of them would have been fly balls with wood bats.”
Brendan McMillan pitched the seventh inning. He allowed one run on two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Using wood bats, Post 320 won the second game of the doubleheader. House Springs stayed with the metal bats.
Pacific collected seven hits in the contest.
Fitzgerald and Gerling both finished with two hits. Fitzgerald added one RBI and one run. Gerling had two RBIs.
Tyler Straatmann, Ryan Vogelgesang and Fonner each had one hit. Straatmann scored two runs. Vogelgesang and Fonner both scored one run.
Post 320 scored two runs in the top of the first inning, one in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth.
“Using the wood bats, our guys knew that hitting the ball out wasn’t going to happen. We’re not that kind of team,” Cowsert said. “The way we win games is hitting line drives and filling the gaps.”
Fitzgerald pitched all seven innings to earn the win. He allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
“Allen threw the ball really well,” Cowsert said. “He had one inning, the fourth inning, where he walked three batters and gave up two runs. That was the only issue he had.”
Pacific’s game Monday against Central was rained out and Tuesday’s contest against Creve Coeur was canceled. Post 320 visits New Haven Wednesday at 7 p.m. and hosts Washington Thursday at 6:30 p.m.