Let’s take two.
That’s what the Union Post 297 Junior Legion team did Tuesday at Fireman’s Park in Wentzville against host Post 323.
Union (10-6, 5-3) shut out Wentzville in the opening game, 7-0, and prevailed in the second one, 9-5.
“We’re getting close to the end of the season,” Manager Airen Fleming said. “We don’t have many games left before the start of the playoffs.”
Union hosts Elsberry Sunday at noon and St. Clair at 5 p.m. in a three-team event. Post 297 then goes to St. Clair Monday and plays next weekend in a tournament in Decatur, Ill.
“We will have to be careful with our pitchers in Decatur due to the start of the district tournament,” Fleming said. “Nobody probably will throw more than 30 pitches.”
The Ninth District Tournament is slated to start June 27 with a pause for Independence Day.
In the first game Tuesday, Union was taking no chances with the district contest. Ace Jacob Fleming threw, recording a four-hit shutout against Post 323.
“Jacob did another outstanding job,” Fleming said. “He struck out 11 and helped us get another big district win.”
Fleming went 6.1 innings, allowing four hits and two walks while fanning 11.
Matt Bray recorded the final two outs on three pitches after Fleming reached his pitch limit.
Union opened scoring with two runs in the third. Post 297 added two more in the fifth, one in the sixth and the final two runs in the seventh.
Post 297 had 10 hits and added six walks, five runners hit by pitches and one reach on an error.
Andrew Bruner, Drew Willingham and William McGregory each posted two hits.
Fleming doubled. Lucas Dowil, Chris Miller and Andy Morrow singled.
Dowil and Andy Morrow each walked twice. Avery Morrow and Fleming walked once.
Avery Morrow was hit by two pitches. Bray, Zeek Koch and Andy Morrow also were hit by pitches.
Dowil, Koch and Willingham stole bases. Dowil sacrificed.
Dowil and Bruner each scored twice. Avery Morrow, Miller and Andy Morrow scored once.
Fleming and McGregory each drove in two. Bruner and Andy Morrow had one RBI apiece.
The second game was much closer. Union scored twice in the bottom of the first, but Wentzville tied it in the second.
Post 297 went ahead in the third, 4-2, but Wentzville scored three times in the fourth.
Union took the lead for good with five runs in the bottom of the fifth and neither side scored after that.
“It was a late night, but the kids played hard until the end,” Fleming said. “It was back and fourth.”
Three pitchers saw action for Post 297.
“We threw three different pitchers and rotated guys around,” Fleming said. “We also had to make a change due to a collision in left center field. Dustin Kohler and Matt Bray came together trying to make a catch. They’re all fine, but Matt was a little shaken up.”
On the hill, Chase Mehler got the start and he went three innings while allowing two unearned runs on four hits. He fanned three.
“We felt Chase did a great job,” Fleming said. “A couple of early errors hurt him.”
Miller was next and he earned the win, going three innings while allowing three runs on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. He struck out three.
“Chris was effective working around a couple of walks,” Fleming said.
Bruner pitched the seventh for a save. He allowed two hits.
Offensively, Union had four hits. Avery Morrow posted two of those, including a double. McGregory and Kohler singled.
“We didn’t have a lot of hits,” Fleming said. “We had a lot of hard-hit balls, but they were right at fielders.”
Union was able to take advantage with discipline in the batter’s box, drawing 11 walks.
“That really was the story of the game,” Fleming said.
Dowil paved the way from the leadoff spot with three walks. Miller and Willingham each walked twice. Fleming, Koch, Kohler and Andy Morrow walked once.
Kohler and Willingham were hit by pitches. Miller posted a sacrifice fly.
Bray, Koch, Kohler, McGregory, Miller and Willingham stole bases.
Kohler scored twice. Dowil, Bray, McGregory, Morrow and Mehler each scored once.
Avery Morrow had two RBIs. Miller and Mehler each drove in one.
“We got a lot of help from Wentzville,” Fleming said. “They helped us put a few more runners on base. We had everybody through the lineup contribute. We’re coming around at the right time and I think things are really starting to click with the playoffs coming up.”