Post 118 leaves St. Louis disappointed

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Cassville Post 118 American Legion baseball team traveled to St. Louis last weekend and left disappointed after finishing 1-2 in the Elsburry Tournament.

Post 118, which had already claimed two tournament titles this season, won its first contest but dropped the next two to finish out of contention for the weekend.

Cassville's first game, against Pitsfield, Ill., was excellent. Travis Northern gave the local team some excellent pitching, striking out nine, and the offense came through providing seven runs in a 7-0 shut out. Kyle Rhea came on in relief of Northern to complete the shut-out.

Cassville got off to a good start, scoring four runs in the second inning. Kason Koelsch singled, Cody Pierson walked and Jody Cavness hit a two-run double. Tyler Miller followed Cavness with an RBI single and was brought home by Kelby Haynes double.

Cassville led the rest of the way. Aaron Brooks and Koelsch scored in the third frame, and Haynes crossed the plate in the sixth inning to give Cassville a 7-0 victory.

Game two against Fulton didn't go quite as well. Cassville received good pitching from starter Michael Baker but couldn't muster enough offense and lost 2-4.

Baker threw six innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out seven.

Post 118 took the lead early. After the first two batters were retired, newly returned, Koelsch blasted a solo home run. Koelsch had been dealing with a nagging injury but was the designated hitter for the tournament.

Fulton struck back in the fourth inning. With one runner on and two outs, Fulton hit back-to-back singles that combined with a Cassville error gave them a 2-1 lead.

Fulton added to its lead in the sixth, garnering three more hits and two runs.

Cassville mounted a comeback in the seventh, but it fell short. Cody Pierson got a big RBI double with two men on and two outs but the rally ended there.

Warrenton beat Cassville in the final contest. Post 118 got off to a good start but again lacked offense and fell 2-12.

Warrenton began the game with four hits, a walk and three runs.

Cassville answered in the bottom of the inning. Ricky Vanderpool and Koelsch, who both reached base via walks, came home on a bases-loaded walk by Pierson and a single by Haynes.

Warrenton was unphased by Cassville's offense and came back in the second, plating four more runs. A lead-off walk and single served as a bad omen, and two hits, a walk and an error later, Warrenton commanded a 7-2 lead. The squad scored five more runs in the contest to win 12-2.

Jake Nolan picked up the loss on the mound for Post 118. Both Levi Roberts and Rhea relieved.

Cassville has a tough week ahead. The team plays at Webb City today (Wednesday) in hopes of avenging an early season 3-2 loss. On Thursday, Post 118 faces off against Neosho at home. Neosho is the defending district champion. Both games are at 6 p.m. and are district contests. Post 118 also travels to McDonald County on Saturday to play at 1 p.m.

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