VALMEYER - The Alton Post 126 under-15 red American Legion baseball team got four hits and three RBIs from Reese Bohlen, while Logan Hickman, Jack Puent, Jacob Flowers and Dane Godar all drove in two runs each as the junior Legionnaires won the Illinois Fifth Division junior baseball championship over the under-17 blue team 16-6 in the final played Monday afternoon at Dennis Pieper Field in Borsch Park in Valmeyer.
The young Legionnaires had advanced to the final by taking a 4-0 win in the loser's bracket final over an unknown opponent in the completion of a suspended game from Sunday evening to advance to the final against the junior Legionnaires. Valmeyer, as hosts, the Orient Miners, Breese Gray and Steeleville also competed in the tournament.
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In the final, the under-15 team, who were the visitors, jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, then scored four more times in the second, with the under-17 team countering with two runs to make the score 7-2. The junior Legionnaires then went on to score six times in the top of the third, with the under-17s scoring twice more in the home half to make the score 13-4. Both teams traded runs in the fourth, with the young Legionnaires scoring once in the fifth and the junior Legionnaires scored three runs in the top of the sixth to make the final 16-6, the game terminated due to the 10-run rule.
The under-15s pounded out 16 hits to the under-17s eight, with both teams committing three errors each.
Bohlen led the junior Legionnaires with his four-hit, three-RBI performance at the plate, while Puent had three hits and two RBIs, both Flowers and Hickman had two hits and two RBIs each, Godar came up with a hit and two RBIs and Alex Pilger, Joe Stephan, Blake Rensing and Dagen Cordes all had a hit and RBI each, Puent started on the mound and went three innings for the win, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits, walking two and striking out three, while Stephan pitched two innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and walking three and Pilger pitched in the sixth, allowing only one hit while fanning one.
Scott Barlow led the young Legionnaires with two hits and a RBI, while Drew Nation had two hits, Camden Siebert had a hit and RBI and Jackson Pruitt, Caleb Handler and Jackson Dorris all had hits. Drake Champlin started on the mound and was tagged with the loss, going 2.1 innings and allowing 10 runs, six earned, on eight hits, walking three and striking out two. Siebert went 1.2 innings and gave up four runs on six hits and Karson Morrissey pitched the final two innings, allowing two runs on two hits, walking two and fanning two.
The under-17 team ends a very successful season, while the under-15 team moves on to the Illinois state championship tournament, where they will join Jerseyville, the Fourth Division winner, in Wheaton this Thursday through Saturday. The winner will represent the state in the Great Lakes regional July 27-31 in Valparaiso, Ind.
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