BALLWIN, Mo. – The Maryland Heights, Mo., Post 213 senior American Legion baseball team scored six runs in the bottom of the second inning and then held off a four-run seventh-inning rally in defeating Alton Post 126 9-7 in both team's opening group stage game in the 11th annual Baseball BATtles Cancer tournament at the Ballwin Athletic Association fields in west St. Louis County.

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The senior team is playing with the junior under-16 red blub in the tournament, although in separate groups, with the tournament set to conclude on Sunday with the knockout state.

Alton took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, only to see Maryland Heights counter with a single run in the home half of the first, then go off for their six-run second to go ahead 7-3.

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There was no more scoring until the bottom of the sixth when Post 213 scored twice to extend the lead to 9-3, before Post 126 scored four times in the top of the seventh, but the rally eventually fell short at Maryland Heights took the 9-7 win.

Marcus Payne had two hits and two RBIs to lead the Legionnaires, while Carsen Bristow had two hits and a RBI, Scott Bartow had a pair of hits, Tyler Mills had a hit and two RBIs, Nolan Parker had a hit, and Logan Bogard drove in two runs.

Eli Lawrence started on the mound for Alton, and only went one inning, giving up five runs on three hits, walking three and striking out one. Will Frasier pitched four innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits, fanning three, and Austin Rathgeb pitched the sixth inning, giving up two runs on four hits, and striking out two.

Alton continues tournament play on Friday against Terre Haute, Ind., in a 3:30 p.m. first pitch, then plays the host Ballwin team Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. The Legionnaires then compete in the group stage on Sunday, with opponents and start times to be announced, then play in the Gator Classic tournament in Trenton next weekend, June 14-16, and also play in a Prep Baseball Report showcase event at the Saint Louis University ball park on June 19, hosting Highland later that day in a 7 p.m. start.

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