For five innings, there was a lot of sweating at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field, and it had nothing to do with the warm, humid conditions.
Washington’s bats finally came alive in the bottom of the fifth and a two-run rally in the sixth was enough to give the Post 218 Seniors a 3-2 win over De Soto SMCI.
“The boys kept it close and gave themselves a chance to win,” Post 218 Coach Kevin Juergens said. “Luckily, we were able to get a couple of clutch hits and beat a very good De Soto team.”
Washington (9-2) used the game as a warmup for this weekend’s Post 218 Wood Bat Tournament. Post 218 used three different pitchers in the nonleague game, but struggled to come back after the visitors scored twice in the top of the third.
Washington finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with a run and took the lead in the sixth with two more.
Zach Stahlman needed nine pitches in the top of the seventh to nail down the save. He struck out one.
Teddy Meyer made his first pitching start of the season and went three innings, allowing both runs on four hits, two walks and a hit batter. He struck out two.
Logan Gratza pitched the middle three innings, allowing one hit and one walk. He struck out three and recorded the win.
“We came out a little flat last night, but got some great pitching from Teddy Meyer, Logan Gratza and Zach Stahlman to close it out,” Juergens said.
Offensively, Washington had just three hits on the night. Gratza doubled. Kyle Tuepker and Spencer Hunter singled.
“Logan Gratza helped himself with a clutch base hit and Spencer Hunter hit the ball very hard at the second basemen, which he couldn’t handle and allowed the go-ahead run to score in the bottom of the sixth,” Juergens said.
Justin Heggemann and Gratza each walked twice. Gus Kleekamp, Quinton Poepsel and Michael McElwain walked once.
Washington had three stolen bases with Kleekamp taking two and Tuepker stealing one. Three Washington runners were thrown out stealing and another was picked off.
“We hurt ourselves early on the bases having four kids get picked off or get caught trying to steal a base,” Juergens said.
Dylan Blyzes started for De Soto and went 4.1 innings, allowing one run on five walks and no hits. He struck out three.
After Blyzes left, Post 218 found success against reliever Brett Gibbs, who took the loss. Over 1.1 innings, he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks.
Nick Schmidt got the final out, a strikeout.
De Soto’s hits were a double by Nick Carter and singles from Ryan McLaughlin, Nick Schmidt, Ryan Almany and Seth Terry.
Andrew Derousse, Nick Warren and Terry walked. Carter was hit by a pitch.
Derousse stole two bases while McLaughlin had a sacrifice fly.
Two De Soto runners were thrown out stealing.