Jeff City Surges Ahead, Defeats Post 18
The opportunities for Sullivan were there Thursday, but they couldn’t get over the hump.
Playing in the Zone 1 Tournament in Washington, the Post 18 juniors found themselves on the losing end of a 9-4 decision against Jefferson City.
The loss put them the juniors just one away from ending the season.
Andrew Branson went 5.1 innings, struck out six and allowed nine runs (six earned). The game slipped away in a three-run fifth inning for Jeff City.
Blayten Nolie, Joshua Earney, Ethan Kackley and Andrew Bell each had two hits, with Nolie and Branson providing doubles. Joshua Wiese, Earney and Bell had RBIs.
Branson matched zeroes with Jeff City’s Nolan Heckemeyer through three innings.
He dodged trouble in the third when he hit Jackson Voss to start the inning. Sullivan got Voss out in a rundown, then Branson ended the inning with a strikeout.
Nolie smashed a leadoff double in the fourth, then scored when Earney deposited an RBI single into center. Collin Immekus grounded into a fielder’s choice and was called out trying to steal second on what appeared to be a questionable decision.
Jeff City took advantage when they came to bat in the bottom half of the inning. Griffin Buschjost and Gavin Bernskoetter led off with hits. Buschjost scored on a sacrifice fly by Drew Voss, then Parker Bax scorched a double into center. Jeff City led 2-1.
Post 18 fought back with two outs in the fifth. Bell singled with one out and Branson extended the inning with a two-out double to put runners in scoring position. Bell crossed the plate on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Jeff City regained the lead immediately. Trent Morrow hit a one-out double. Braden Hickey was sent in as a courtesy runner and scored on an error. Drew Voss had a two-run single that put Jeff City up 5-2.
Sullivan threatened again in the sixth. Earney led off with an infield single. He swapped places with Immekus, who was out on a fielder’s choice. Kackley singled on a ground ball to Stegeman at second base, who laid out for the ball but couldn’t get up for a throw. Bell stroked a single to center that scored Immekus. But Heckemeyer got a strikeout to end the frame.
Jeff City would go on to add four more runs in the sixth, knocking Branson out of the game.
Sullivan tried to make a late rally. Branson drew a leadoff walk, took two bases on two wild pitches and scored on Wiese’s groundout. Jeff City loaded the bases with a single to Nolie and walks to Earney and Immekus.
Bax was sent in to pitch and he struck out the next two batters to end the game.