Scoring the first six runs Wednesday, the Union Post 297 Junior Legion team held on to beat Washington Post 218 at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field, 6-4.
“Anytime you play Washington you know you’re in for a battle,” Union Manager Mike Sachs said. “Kent has a great program and we have a lot of respect for what they’ve been able to accomplish. We were very lucky to come out on the winning side. It’s a great win for our program. We haven’t beaten them in a while.”
Getsee said Union deserved its win.
“It is a long season and we just have to congratulate Union on the win and go back to work,” Post 218 Manager Getsee said. “They did what they needed to and we certainly didn’t roll over. Our guys pecked away and did some damage of our own in the sixth and never gave up in the seventh. We push the guys to play hard all seven innings and we did just that.”
Union (9-3, 4-1) evened the season series with the win. Washington (8-2, 2-1) had beaten Union in the Washington Memorial Day Weekend Tournament, 7-4. The teams are not scheduled to play again during the regular season.
“This type of game is what our guys need and I’d imagine Union needs as well,.” Getsee said. “Clobbering teams is no way to make your team and players better. Union makes us a better team and we hope we do the same for them. It is no secret the Ninth District is tough and getting tougher with the teams playing well like St. Clair and Sullivan. There are no off games and that is what the Ninth District is all about.”
Union grabbed the lead with five runs in the top of the second and made it 6-0 with another run in the third.
“We had the one big inning at the plate and it turned out to be enough,” Sachs said. “It seems like we haven’t had the big hit when we needed it, but tonight we were able to put up four runs with two outs, which was huge. Chris Miller does a great job of getting it started for us. He and Zeek (Koch) had back-to-back doubles that proved to be vital. Trevor Rinne has been swinging a hot bat recently and that continued tonight. Credit to (Brandon) Stahlman, after that inning he made some adjustments and shut us down.
Washington scored its first run in the fourth and added three more in the sixth, but couldn’t get any closer.
Isaiah Hoelscher got the ball for Union and he went the distance, allowing four unearned runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out two and made it through the game in 100 pitches.
“Isaiah pitched an absolute fantastic game,” Sachs said. “He’s grown so much since last year mentally. He stepped up every time his defense made a mistake and just battled. Defensively, we did very little to help him out. We know we can play better than that and we will. We had (Andy) Morrow ready for the seventh but seeing Isaiah walk out to take the mound, he was locked in and we knew it was his to finish.”
On the other side, Washington got a complete game from Stahlman. Like Hoelscher, his defense let him down as only one of the six runs was earned. Stahlman allowed nine hits and struck out nine.
“Brandon Stahlman took the bump for us and pitched well enough to win giving up just a single earned run and collecting nine strikeouts,” Getsee said. “He and Nick Hellmann were on the same page all night, but Union put together a big rally in the second mixing in some hard hits and a well-placed bunt that lead to the runs. That was our only blemish on the night and we certainly can live with it.”
Offensively, Union was led by Miller, Koch and Rinne, who had two hits apiece. Koch doubled twice while Miller had one double.
Hoelscher helped his own cause with a triple.
Ronin Straatmann and Jesse Maraman each singled.
Miller, Hoelscher, Straatmann, Rinne, Evan Hall and Maraman scored the runs.
Miller and Rinne each drove in two. Koch and Maraman had one RBI apiece.
Josh Garbs led Washington with two hits.
Luke Hendrickson and Riley West doubled. Jack Czeschin, Wil Heggemann and Joe Hackmann singled.
Hendrickson and Josh Garbs drew walks. Stahlman stole a base.
Stahlman, Heggemann, Hendrickson and Drew Holtmeyer scored the runs.
West drove in two. Hendrickson posted one RBI.
“Offensively, we didn’t get anything substantial going until late in the game,” Getsee said. “Josh Garbs had a couple of hits and we scattered five others. We were a little impatient in the early going, chasing some high pitches that created pop outs, but again we will use this as a learning process and come out better for it.”
Union returns to action Monday, hosting Rhineland Post 147 in a key Ninth District game at Wildcat Ballpark. Rhineland is a half-game behind Union in the Ninth District standings and Monday’s game likely will be for second in the standings at this point.
Post 297 hosts Rosebud Post 587 Tuesday at 8 p.m. That game will be played at Veterans Memorial Park.
Washington played St. Charles Post 312 at Blanchette Park Thursday and hosts games this weekend. Hannibal visits Saturday at 10 a.m. with West coming to Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Washington goes to St. Peters Monday at 6 p.m. and hosts Ninth District leader Sullivan Tuesday at 6 p.m.