One rally was enough.
Washington Post 218 forced a second winner-take-all game of the Senior Legion Zone 1 Tournament Saturday at Burleigh Grimes Field in Trenton with a 5-4 win over Jefferson City Post 5.
Post 218 (33-5) managed one rally against Jefferson City (26-6) starter Josef Keilholz, but it was just enough to force another game for the Zone 1 title, 5-4.
“We really did just kind of hold on there,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “We got a break. They hit a hard ball and Jack (Czeschin) made a great play to get two there in the last inning. If that ball gets past him, it’s game over.”
Washington Post 218 got the win from Joe Hackmann.
“Games like that, you’ve got to grind them out,” Hackmann said. “I was happy to keep the team close with the pitching. That was big.”
Jefferson City jumped on top with a run in the bottom of the second. In the fifth meeting between the two teams, Post 5 was looking to return to Sedalia to defend its state championship.
Having beaten Washington in three of the previous four games, including an eight-inning win Friday in Trenton, 7-6, Post 5 was looking for the knockout punch.
Washington took the lead with five runs in the top of the third and rode that for the rest of the game.
In the fourth, Jefferson City scored twice, cutting the gap to 5-3. Things got exceptionally interesting in the seventh inning.
Leading 5-3, Hackmann was looking to close out a complete game victory.
Gage Bax led off with a walk and Zach Woehr followed with a single.
Josef Keilholz smacked a hard grounder down the first base line and an error allowed Bax to score with Woehr moving to third and Keilholz making second on the play.
Post 218 needed something in a hurry. And Washington got it thanks to the glove and hustle of Jack Czeschin.
Justin Wood smashed a liner to the right of second base, but Czeschin was there and he was able to beat Keilholz to the bag at second for a double play.
The game still was in doubt with Woehr representing the tying run at third.
Parker Schnieders was hit by a pitch and Hackmann had to leave the mound after reaching his pitch limit.
That brought Spencer Hunter to the hill with Jack Shinkle stepping up to the plate.
Shinkle had doubled earlier in the game. Hunter started with three balls in a row while trying to find a comfortable spot to plant on the mound.
On a 3-1 pitch, Shinkle hit a hard grounder down the first base line as the runners broke for the next stations.
Hackmann, who had moved to first, grabbed the ball and stomped on first base for the final out and a Washington win.
“It just feels like it was meant to be,” Hackmann said. “That was something I almost saw coming.”
Post 218 outhit Jefferson City in the game, 6-4. Post 218 made two errors to one for Post 5.
Hackmann was the winner, going 6.2 innings while allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits, five walks and one hit batter. He struck out three.
Hunter got the save, getting the only batter he faced out.
Keilholz went the distance and allowed five unearned runs on six hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out two.
Offensively, Czeschin and Hackmann both doubled. Bryce Mayer, Hunter, Quinton Poepsel and Maguire Landwehr singled.
Louie Eckelkamp and Joe Bauer walked.
Bauer also put down a sacrifice bunt.
Mayer, Hunter, Poepsel, Bauer and Levi Weber scored the runs.
Poepsel and Hackmann drove in two runs apiece. Mayer had one RBI.
Woehr had half of the Jefferson City hits. Shinkle doubled while Justin Wood singled.
Schnieders walked three times and was hit by a pitch. Trent Morrow and Bax walked.
Dawson Koch sacrificed.
Schnieders scored two of the runs. Wood and Bax also scored.
Shinkle had two RBIs.
With the result, the teams took a half-hour break before resuming the championship series.