The St. Clair Post 347 Juniors and Union Post 297 started the season against each other and one team’s season had to end when they met again Sunday.
St. Clair (9-9) eliminated Union (16-10), 8-5, in the third round of the Ninth District Juniors Tournament at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Union had previously beaten St. Clair in the first round of the tournament, but Sunday it was St. Clair’s turn to pull off a come-from-behind victory.
Post 297 scored two runs in the second inning and added one run each in the third, fourth and fifth frames.
“It was a grind all day,” Post 347 Manager Gary Land said. “I think it came down to who made the least mistakes. We were able to come out on top with a 8-5 win.”
St. Clair scored twice in the second inning and once in the third, but weren’t able to tie the score until pushing across two more runs in the top of the sixth.
A three-run rally for Post 347 in the seventh sealed the win and extended the season for another game.
“It was a tough one to lose, you have to credit St. Clair, they came up big in big spots,” Post 297 Manager Mike Sachs said. “We played with fire every time we were in the field and we finally got burnt in the seventh. Our effort was there today but our execution was just a little off and against good teams like St. Clair they will make you pay.”
After Sal Caminitti walked and Dalton Thompson doubled, both runs were able to score on a wild pitch and give St. Clair its first lead of the game.
Johnny Kindel led the Post 347 offense with three hits in the game, including a double that allowed him to score the final run in the seventh inning. Kindel scored twice in the game, walked and singled twice with one run batted in.
Blaine Downey and Gus Land both singled twice and picked up two RBIs apiece.
Thompson doubled and singled with three runs scored.
Brady Simpson and Caminitti each singled twice.
Chase Walters singled and drove in a run.
Cole Venable walked twice and scored twice.
Walters, Simpson and Thompson were hit by pitches.
Venable reached once on an error.
Simpson pitched the first three innings for St. Clair, allowing three runs, one earned, on three hits with three strikeouts.
Walters earned the win with four innings pitched and closed out the victory. He allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Union put together seven hits in the game, led by two apiece from Zeek Koch and Ronin Straatmann.
Straatmann tripled and singled with an RBI and a run scored. He was also hit by a pitch.
Koch doubled and singled with a stolen base and a run scored.
Isaiah Hoelscher smashed a solo home run and walked once.
Andy Morrow and Trevor Rinne both singled.
Rinne had one RBI.
Jesse Maraman and Kaden Hughes scored the other two Post 297 runs.
Colten Fink started on the mound for Union and went 4.2 innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
Chris Miller pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and one walk with one strikeout.
Rinne was the pitcher of record. He allowed three runs on three hits and a walk with one strikeout in one inning pitched.