Everybody knows the Ninth District Senior Legion Tournament can be a long and winding road.
That’s why it was little surprise that first-round opponents Washington Post 218 and Union Post 297 ran into each other for the second time in the event Saturday at Wildcat Ballpark.
And, for the second time, Washington defeated Union. This time, the final was 12-2.
“Our Saturday game with Union was a bit unexpected, but at the back end of an eight-team tournament, pitching can get thin,” Post 218 Manager Kent Getsee said. “Sam Turilli came out and dominated the game throwing strikes in bunches and working ahead in the count. He has good velocity and off speed, so he’s tough to score on when the defense is behind him, and we certainly were in the mercy-ruled game.”
Joe Borgmann led the Post 297 team with Manager Ryan Bailey at a family function.
“Our pitching and defense was not the best Saturday,” Borgmann said. “Our boys didn’t seem to be as into the game as they were Friday.”
Post 218 (17-10), the third seed, edged Union (13-10-1) in the opening round, 3-2, thanks to scoring in the bottom of the seventh. Washington lost in the next round to Hannibal Post 55 (Culp) while Union fought through the losers’ bracket, stunning top-seeded Elsberry to reach Saturday’s game.
Post 218 set the tone with seven runs in the bottom of the second inning. The big hit was a grand slam by Gavin Matchell. It was the second game in a row where Matchell homered.
“Offensively, Gavin Matchell delivered the big blow with a grand slam in the second inning, but without the guys getting on, that table would not have been set,” Getsee said. “Every guy in the lineup did something to help the effort, and when we take patient at-bats, we’re as tough as they come. Gavin delivered his second dinger in as many days and is just locked in.”
Union recovered to score twice in the top of the third. Kaden Motley doubled home two runs.
Washington added three more runs in the fourth and reached the 10-run threshhold in the bottom of the sixth to end the game.
Post 218 outhit Union, 11-4. Union made three errors to one for Washington.
Turilli went the distance on the hill for Washington. Over six innings, he allowed two runs on four hits and one walk. Turilli fanned three.
Will Mentz started for Post 297 and went 1.2 innings, allowing seven unearned runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out one.
Dylan McLone pitched 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out one.
Alex Kuelker finished the game, getting the final two outs. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks.
Turilli, Zac Coulter and Louis Paule each had two hits. Coulter doubled.
Matchell homered while Blake Whitlock doubled.
Jarrett Hamlett and Cody Vondera singled.
Dane Eckhoff, Matchell, Whitlock and Hamlett walked.
Eckhoff added a sacrifice bunt. Sam Paule stole a base.
Matchell, Sam Paule and Ethan Mort each scored twice. Eckhoff, Coulter, Whitlock, Hamlett, Louis Paule and Vondera scored once.
Matchell drove in five runs. Whitlock and Hamlett had two RBIs apiece. Turilli, Eckhoff and Vondera drove in one run apiece.
“Louis Paule had a great day at the plate as well and Cody Vondera laid down another text book bunt,” Getsee said. “It was a fun game for the guys and we thank and congratulate Union on a great season and appreciate their help during the tournament.”
Motley, Mentz and Luke Koch doubled for Union. The other hit was a single by Hayden Burke.
Mentz walked. Motley and Burke stole bases.
Mentz and Burke scored the runs. Motley drove both in.