Perhaps the Achilles’ heel has been found for the Washington Post 218 AAA baseball team.
Washington has found its biggest problems facing teams from Illinois. Programs from the Land of Lincoln have inflicted three of Washington’s four setbacks so far this season.
Post 218 (15-4) has gone 3-3 overall in games against Illinois teams.
The third defeat came Tuesday night at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field, where Belleville outscored Washington, 14-8.
Belleville also beat Washington June 1, 7-5.
Washington Manager Kent Getsee was happy with the offensive effort.
“We had a solid day at the plate against some very good pitching,” Getsee said. “The guys had a great approach at the plate and worked it pretty good. Eight runs should be enough to win a game, but unfortunately in this instance it was not.”
The game was scoreless until the top of the third, when Belleville scored four runs, all with two outs.
Washington bounced back to score three times in the bottom of the inning, but Belleville added six more aces in the top of the fourth. Washington cut it to 10-6 in the bottom of that inning.
Scoring picked up again in the sixth. Belleville scored once and Washington scored twice.
Belleville added its final three runs in the top of the seventh.
A total of eight Belleville runs came with two outs in the game.
Belleville batters had 15 hits in the game, but it was the five errors which hurt Post 218 the most. Only seven of the runs were earned.
Brandon Stahlman paced Washington offensively with three hits, including a pair of doubles.
“Offensively, Brandon Stahlman continued his hot streak going 3-3, but he shot the gap all three times and had a great day,” Getsee said.
Joe Hackmann had two hits, including a double.
“Joe Hackmann picked up three RBIs on some solid at-bats and Bryce Mayer was right behind him with two RBIs,” Getsee said.
Bryce Mayer, Jack Czeschin, Jack Lackman and Cody Tuepker each had one single.
Washington drew seven walks and Czeschin reached three times. Stahlman, Bryce Mayer, Calvin Straatmann and Levi Weber each walked once.
Lackman was hit by a pitch and stole a base. Blain Tuepker contributed a sacrifice fly.
Stahlman scored three runs. Czeschin scored twice while Bryce Mayer, Straatmann and Weber each scored once.
Hackmann had three RBIs. Bryce Mayer drove in two while Czeschin, Blain Tuepker and Lackman each added one RBI.
Brayden Mayer started and went 3.2 innings, allowing 10 runs (four earned) on 10 hits and one walk. He struck out five.
“Brayden Mayer pitched well enough to win the game,” Getsee said. “He was on from the beginning and made some great pitches, but unfortunately the error bug caught up with us in the third inning and a bad hop on a double play ball did some damage. Those, along with some well-placed hits on their part, led to the four runs in the third and six runs in the fourth.”
Getsee said the big innings really hurt.
“That is the second time we gave up a big crooked number to them in the two meetings, and against a tough team like Belleville, that is a bad mix.”
Ethan Mort finished out the game, going 3.1 innings while allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and one walk. He struck out three.
“Ethan Mort came into the game in relief, and also pitched great, throwing strikes making the hitters do the work,” Getsee said.
Getsee said the game could have been much closer.
“We had a couple of guys out of position at times and that was exposed, but all in all, if we had played better defense, the score would have been closer,” Getsee said.
Belleville used four pitchers, Brandon Bowen, Josh Dima, Logan Weaver and Jordan Wilson.
Cole Malawy led Belleville with three hits. Colin Shea, Dylan Hill and Bowen each had two hits. Shea and Jake Isaacs tripled. Jacob Sutton and Hill doubled.