Big hits, kicks and jumps
The Highland Post 439 Legion baseball team split its first two games in the 5th Division Tournament in Fairfield over the weekend before defeating Aviston 2-0 on Monday afternoon in an elimination game.
On Saturday, Post 439 opened tourney action well, getting a two-run lead after three innings, but poor defense and hot bats from Steeleville did in Highland. Steelville parlayed an error-filled fourth inning into an eight-run explosion and rolled to a 15-5 six-inning, mercy-rule win.
It was easily Highland’s worst game of the season to date, as Post 439 committed eight errors total.
“Baseball is like this where it goes in waves and I just hope that we got it out of our system,” Highland skipper Harry Painter said. “Steelville is a good hitting team and there’s no doubt about that.”
Highland took 2-0 the lead in the second on Jack Korte’s two-run single.
After Steelville drew even with two in the bottom of the third, Post 439 answered with two runs in the top of the fourth for a 4-2 advantage. Colten Knebel singled and Ross Spies chased him home with an RBI-triple. Logan Doll followed with an RBI-groundout to short.
In the fourth inning, Highland starter Jonathan Dickman ran into trouble as the Post 439 defense got shaky. Steelville’s hot bats, combined with Highland’s sloppy fielding, led to eight runs and a 10-4 hole for Post 439.
“In the bottom of the fourth, the wheels just really fell off for us,” Painter said.
Highland’s defense committed four more errors in the fifth and Steelville plated four additional tallies for a 14-4 margin. Steelville then took advantage of one final Post 439 error to close out the game in the sixth.
Dickman pitched 3 2/3 innings and took the loss.
On Sunday, Highland got a win without taking the field as Fairfield forfeited the game. Post 439 then knocked off Aviston on Monday afternoon to improve to 19-6 and faced Odin in another elimination game Monday night. The results were not immediately available.