Post 18 Freshmen Win Ninth District Championship
Garrett Juergens' sixth inning triple Friday drove in two runs and broke a 3-3 tie, leading the Sullivan Post 18 freshmen to a 5-3 victory against Washington in the Ninth District championship game.
Sullivan won the district for the first time in what is believed to be more than 20 years and possibly the first-ever for the freshmen team.
They advance to the state tournament in Hannibal that begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday.
After Post 18 took a 1-0 lead in the first on a triple by Juergens and a double by Joshua Earney, Washington took advantage of a couple Sullivan misplays to go up 2-1 in the second. Sullivan couldn't break through against Post 218 starter Bryce Mayer until the fifth inning.
Earney's two-out single scored Braden Carey and tied the game 2-2.
Washington went back up in the sixth on a double by Joe Hackmann. Post 218 failed to capitalize when Hackmann was thrown out by Sullivan catcher Trevor Abernathy trying to steal third. Earney retired the next two batters he faced, which allowed Sullivan to seize the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
Collin Immekus led off with a walk against a tiring Mayer. He went to second on a passed ball, then scored on a single by Noah Bryan. Bryan advanced to second on an error in left field. He moved to third on a bunt by Blayten Nolie.
After Carter Dace struck out, Carey was hit by a pitch to bring up Juergens. On a 1-1 pitch, Juergens lofted a fly ball to right that was angling toward foul territory. The fielder dived for it with his body in fair territory and the ball going foul. He couldn't make the catch.
Juergens didn't miss his next pitch. He served up Mayer's offering to right center, sending the fielders on a long chase. The runs scored and Juergens had an easy triple.
Earney locked down the seventh. After a one-out single and a groundout to short, Earney struck out Levi Weber to end the game.