The four American Legion baseball teams left standing in Missouri converged on Dey Field at Liberty Park Stadium on Thursday to open the AAA State Tournament.
Washington’s Spencer Juergens and Manchester’s John Nowak put on a pitcher’s duel in the second game ut ultimately neither got a decision as the game went to extra innings.
The game had not ended at press time.
Washington eventually won the game in 12 innings 3-2 as Rss Seitter brought the winning run home on a squeeze play.
Juergens retired the first eight men he faced before Kyle Dirnberger singled with two out in the third. He worked around an infield single to lead off the fourth and a double play got him out of the fifth.
Nowak got help from his defense with a double play to end the first, then worked out of a jam in the second.
In the bottom of the fourth, Washington loaded the bases on a walk, a single and an error. Trey Hunter hit a dribbler to third but the throw to the plate was off-line and Logan Holdmeyer came in with the game’s first run. A double play got Manchester out of the inning with only one run scoring.
Manchester broke through in the sixth when two-out errors put runners at second and third and Justin Gallina looped a single over the shortstop’s head to make it 2-1. That lead did not last long as in the bottom of the sixth Aaron Meyer tied it with a solo home run to right.
Manchester loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh but Washington went home for a force out on a squeeze play and a fly ball to right ended the threat. Neither team could score in the seventh, eighth or ninth.
In the opening game of the tournament, Fike had the bats going early in a 14-2 win over Hillcrest. Fike scored six in the second and kept the offense going with two in the third and two more in the fourth. Nate Pecota capped off the scoring with a two-run home run in the seventh.
Fike manager Jim Moran said his team was showing “patience at the plate, good pitch selection and just squaring the ball up.”
Hillcrest got on the board in the sixth, loading the bases and scoring on a walk and a fielder’s choice, but a double play ended the inning.
Fike will play Washington at noon Friday in the winners’ bracket final.
Hillcrest will meet Manchester at 3 p.m. Friday in the losers’ bracket semifinal.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles