As the regular season heads into the final week of play, things are falling into place nicely for the Highland Post 439 Senior American Legion baseball team.
Thanks to a pair of wins during the Fourth of July holiday week, Post 439 rolls into the final week of the summer campaign with a 14-3 mark and looking for a strong finish.
Highland got the week started off right July 2 with a big home win at Optimist Field, knocking off previously undefeated Belleville in a 3-2 walk-off victory.
“That was a big game there because Belleville was undefeated coming in to play us and we walked off on them in the bottom of the seventh (inning),” Highland skipper Harry Painter said.
Jonathan Dickman starred on the mound, allowing just five hits, two earned runs and two walks in six innings while fanning seven. Kolby Frey pitched the seventh and earned the win.
Jack Korte tied the score at 2-2 with an RBI hit in the bottom of the fifth and then Korte came up big in the bottom of the seventh, delivering the game-winning RBI.
“It was a misplayed ball that got lost in the lights and fell behind the outfielder,” Painter said.
A day later Post 439 trekked down to Mt. Vernon and rode some timely hitting from Korte and a dominant pitching performance from recent HHS graduate Griffin Frahm to a 5-0 road win.
Frahm was in command and dominant from the start, tossing a no-hit gem. Frahm struck out six hitters and allowed no walks while unfurling Post 439’s second no-hitter of the summer.
“He had everything working (for him),” Painter said. “The big deal was he was keeping his pitches down and he came out ready to pitch this game and was good start to finish. It was something to watch, actually.”
Frahm got a big boost from Korte, who once again was clutch. After Logan Doll singled and Ryan Hacke reached on an error to start to sixth inning, Korte stepped to the plate and hammered a three-run homer to push Post 439’s 2-0 cushion to 5-0.
“That situation was ironic, too, because I made a mistake and had Korte batting ninth and Jakob Ernst hitting eighth as I inadvertently put the numbers down reversed. And Korte was called out in the third after he batted and got on (base) … their coach pointed out the mistake and he was called out then,” Pointer said. “Then he comes up in the fifth and their coach tried to argue it again and the umpires said, no we already took care of that, so it was ironic and it worked out in our favor.”
Jonathan Barnes singled in Landon Oestringer to make it 1-0 in the top of the first inning and Ernst scored on a wild pitch in the fifth frame to account for the other Highland runs.
For this week, Post 439 visits Trenton on Monday night and then hosts Alton on Tuesday and finishes up Wednesday with a road game at Belleville at Whitey Herzog Field.
“It’s a big week, this week and it’s almost like a round robin (tournament) before the playoffs with Alton playing Belleville and us and we’re playing both Belleville and Alton,” Painter said.