Fresh off a second place finish at the Ozarks Baseball Classic in Harrison, Ark., the Irwin-Easley Post 118 club returned home to sweep an American Legion doubleheader from Neosho on Tuesday June 8, 11-4 and 5-1.
The Cassville Legion team fought past the St. Louis pros and the host Harrison Big Macs before falling to Southern Colorado in the tournament championship on Sunday afternoon. The 2-1 split in Arkansas gave Post 118 an overall record of 6-1 going into Tuesday's twinbill with Neosho.
Jon Riley started on the mound for Post 118 and earned the victory with his five innings of work. Ricky Vanderpool came on in relief in the sixth and seventh innings and shut out Neosho after inheriting an 8-4 lead.
The Irwin-Easley nine took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but Neosho tied the game at 2-2 on Drew Miller's two-RBI double in the third. Post 118 reclaimed the lead with four runs in the bottom of the third, sending nine batters to the plate in a nightmare inning for Neosho pitcher Jake Barnes.
Vanderpool and John Cavness both contributed RBI hits in the inning, but the four errors committed by the Neosho defense were just as damaging. Blake Henry scored in the fourth on a Post 118 error to make the score 6-3. Then in the bottom of the fourth, Vanderpool plated Evan Stubblefield with a sac fly, and Trevor Tanner scored on another Neosho miscue to up the score to 8-3.
Neosho scratched out a final run in the fifth inning, getting a score when Silas Bohannon hit into a double play with the bases loaded. Riley got a pop out from A. J. Enloe for the final out of the frame as Neosho wasted a bases-loaded-and-no-outs opportunity for a big inning.
In the sixth inning, Post 118's Josh Hartin poked an RBI double, and then Trey Rose ended the scoring with a home run over the left field fence. The first game went to the Cassville club, 11-4.
Stubblefield took the hill for Post 118 in the second game. He blanked Neosho for three innings before yielding a run in the fourth. Meanwhile, his teammates scored three times in the third inning, taking advantage of two errors and three walks to break the scoreless tie.
Leading 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Cassville crew scored two more when Riley tripled and came home on a wild pitch, and Tanner delivered a two-out RBI single.
The 5-1 victory improved Post 118's record to 8-1 for the summer.