With the bats almost as hot as the temperature, the Washington Post 218 Senior Legion squad survived a slugfest Thursday in the Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament.
Washington (27-3) survived a 10-5 pool contest against St. Joseph Post 11.
“We didn’t play well defensively in the first few innings against a really good St. Joseph team,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “If we don’t keep hitting, it could have ended much differently.”
That put Washington at 2-0 in Pool C play heading into the final two games Friday. Washington plays the Lee’s Summit Post 189 Outlaws Friday at 12:30 p.m. and the Ada, Okla., Braves at 3 p.m. Both games will be played at the Hidden Valley Complex.
“We will pay close attention to the St. Joseph-Ada game (Thursday night) Gardner said. “If St. Joseph wins, it’s beneficial to us. We could be in position where a win over Lee’s Summit would get us into the quarterfinals. Then, we can save pitching.”
The five pool winners and three wildcard teams will advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals. The semifinals and championship will be played Sunday.
Taking on St. Joseph Post 11 at Hidden Valley’s Field No. 1, Washington dropped behind the St. Joseph team in the opening inning, 1-0.
Post 218 came back to score four times in the bottom of the first.
Scoring continued in the second inning as Post 11 added a run and Washington scored three more times.
“We got some walks and ended up scoring four in the first and three in the second,” Gardner said. “They kept pecking away. Joe (Hackmann) stayed in the groove.”
In the third, St. Joseph pulled back to 7-5 and Washington added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth. After that, both teams settled down.
Post 218 scored the game’s final run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
St. Joseph outhit Post 218 in the game, 12-8, and each side made two errors.
Washington drew eight walks to two for Post 11. Washington also had two hit batters while St. Joseph had one.
Hackmann was the winning pitcher for Post 218, going six innings while allowing five runs (three earned) on 11 hits, two walks and a hit batter.
“Joe started the game and pitched really well,” Gardner said. “We didn’t play well defensively behind him.”
Teddy Meyer pitched the final inning, allowing a hit while striking out one.
Offensively, Jake Jinkerson, Eli Marquart and Justin Heggemann each had two hits.
Logan Gratza doubled. Tommy Ruether added a single.
Spencer Hunter walked three times while Ruether and Heggemann received two walks each. Adam Molitor walked once.
Hackmann and Joe Bauer were hit by pitches.
Heggemann stole two bases. Bauer had one steal.
Jinkerson recorded a sacrifice bunt and Marquart had a sacrifice fly.
Ruether and Gratza each scored twice. Jinkerson, Hunter, Marquart, Bauer and Tyler Glosemeyer scored once.
Jinkerson and Marquart each had two RBIs. Gratza and Heggemann drove in one run apiece.
St. Joseph used three pitchers in the game.
Ethan Gwinn started and took the loss. Over one inning, he allowed six runs (five earned) on two hits, two walks and two hit batters. He struck out one.
Jacob Duhn was next and he went three innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out a pair.
Orlo Simmons threw the final two innings, allowing one run on one hit and three walks. He struck out one.
Offensively, Keigen Hogan led the way with three hits. Nicholas Crets recorded two hits.
Players with one hit each were Jaden Baker, Alex Bean, Tanner Schmidt, Gwinn, Duhn, Jaired Huffman and Simmons.
Bean and Duhn drew walks. Huffman was hit by a pitch.
Baker, Hogan, Huffman, Crets and Simmons scored the runs.
Hogan had two RBIs. Baker, Duhn and Simmons drove in one run apiece.