Alton Post 126 falls in consolation round, Edwardsville captures tourney title
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HILLSBORO, MO. - It was a toasty 100-plus degree Fathers Day afternoon at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo.
It was hot, but the Alton Post 126 bats were not.
Jackson Post 158 scored nine runs late on to win 11-0 in six innings in the consolation round in the Ron Bone Invitational Showcase.
That is a complete reversal of the result on Friday when Alton beat this same team 10-0 in five innings behind a Wesley Laaker complete game shutout.
For this game head coach, Nick Paulda was aiming to experiment with some players who haven’t seen the field as much before District 22 games start up this coming week.
“We tried to get as many guys into some work in. Guys that need to see some at-bats,” Paulda said. “Overall it wasn’t just the pitching, hitting, base running, it was all together. We didn’t really show up today. It’s the second day in a row we didn’t show up. As coaches, we expect more of that, and I know [the players] expect more than that.”
Zach Knight got the start for Alton. He gave up two runs in the first and threw three scoreless innings after, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Knight struck out one, walked two while giving up five hits and one run (three earned) in four innings.
“In the first inning he was leaving pitches up, and he allowed a couple runs,” Paulda said of Knight. “He started getting the ball down, but as the game went on, he started walking more guys and leaving that ball up again.”
Jackson’s left-handed pitcher, Tyler Martin threw a complete game shutout allowing four hits while striking out four and walking two. Overall, Alton’s offense was limited to two runs in three games. However, Paulda says the opposing pitching was the toughest his club has encountered thus far.
“This weekend has been the best pitching we’ve seen this year,” Paulda said. “[Martin] threw a great game. He was throwing strikes. He was working quick. The curveball kept us off balance the whole game, but we gotta make adjustments after the first couple innings.”
Alton’s scoring chances were limited and got a total of six runners on the base paths.
In the middle of the third, Ryan Best lined a one-out triple to right-center field giving Alton a spark they needed. However, the next batter, Elijah Dennenbrink grounded to the shortstop who threw Best out at home plate. In the following inning, Jayce Maag hit a single, and Zaide Wilson drew a walk to put two runners aboard with one out, but Martin got Ben Mossman to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
“We went up there with the same approach, the same at-bats, and everything. If we’re doing the same thing over and over again, it’s not going to work. These guys know that.”
They finished the tournament going 1-3 and are now 9-5 for the season.
Alton has played four games in three days and will play four more going into this week until they get a break on Friday. Today Alton faces Belleville Post 58 at SIUE at 7 p.m. that will be live Riverbender.com.
Alton takes on Valmeyer (6 p.m.) at SIUE again on Tuesday followed by away games at Highland (8 p.m.) on Wednesday and Jerseyville (7 p.m.) on Thursday.
“We have three district games coming up,” Paulda said. “They know how big those are and we’re going to forget about this weekend because we know this wasn’t us. We turn the page.”
In other area action in the Ron Bone Invitational Showcase, the Edwardsville Post 199 Bears defeated Eureka Post 177 3-0 in Festus to claim the championship for the second year in a row.
Zach Seavers got the victory for Edwardsville throwing a four-hit complete shutout.
Mikey Hampton got on base with a single and eventually scored to make it 1-0 in the first inning. In the third, Chase Gockel knocked in a two-run single to give the Bears a 3-0 lead they would hang on to for the rest of the game.
Edwardsville’s record is now 8-1 on the season.
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