Drew Drabant highlighted a five-run second inning with a two-run triple as Valmeyer Post 901 defeated Jackson, Mo. 8-3 on Monday in the title game of the Metro East Firecracker Senior American Legion Baseball Tournament.
Making its debut in the annual Fourth of July tournament in its first season as a Senior American Legion program, Valmeyer (18-4-1) broke on top early against Jackson which defeated Jefferson City, (Mo.) 3-1 to reach the title game.
And it was Drabant who keyed the early onslaught as Valmeyer sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead.
Phillip Reinhardt, Riley McCarthy and Cole Juelfs also drove in runs in the second inning for Valmeyer which added a run in the fifth inning and two in the sixth. With ace Easton Wallace and reliever Drww Maus pitching a scoreless seventh inning, Valmeyer finished a perfect 6-0 tournament with a near flawless performance.
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“We hit the ball well and man, can these guys swing the bats. But I really felt the key for us these last three days was our pitching and defense,” Valmeyer coach Jason Chism said. “What did we give up? 11 runs in six games. Out pitching and I mean everyone who threw for us, was great and our defense was outstanding.
“Easton (Wallace) did the job today and then we called on the big guy (Maus) to close it out. It was a team effort.”
Several members of the Valmeyer Legion team were key members of the Valmeyer High School Pirates High School team that placed second in the Class 1A state tournament.
“It’s just a great group of kids. It’s a good group to have as the first Senior Legion team from Valmeyer,” Chism said.
Valmeyer advanced to the title game with a 1-0 semifinal win over the Belleville Hilgards.
In the title game at Whitey Herzog Field, Valmeyer turned on the offense early. With one out in the second, Kyle Steve singled and scored to tie the game at 1 when Reinhardt laced a double. Michael Chism then singled and Reinhardt scored on a single by Mccarthy as Valmeyer took the lead.
One out later, Drabant tripled to increase the lead to 4-1 and eventually scored on a single by Juelfs.
Jackson, which managed only one earned run against Wallace, cut the lead to 5-3 in the top of the fifth but a run scoring double by Chism in the bottom of the inning creased the lead to 6-3.
Juelfs put the game away with a two-run double in the sixth inning.
Metro East Firecracker Baseball Tournament
- Belleville 1, Jefferson City, (Mo.) 0, 8 innings
- Jefferson City 6, Festus, (Mo.) 5
- Festus 5, Alton 2
- Morgantown (WV) 2, Alton 1
- Belleville 6, Morgantown 3’
- Metro East 5, Aviston 4
- Jackson, (Mo.) 7, Aviston 6
- Jackson 4, Ballwin, (Mo.) 2
- Ballwin 6, Belleville Jr. 2
- Belleville def. Metro East (Forfeit)
- Valmeyer 13, Jerseyville 3
- Valmeyer 5, Quincy 1
- Quincy 5, St. Charles 3
- St. Charles (Mo.) 5, Eureka 0
- Eureka (Mo.), Jerseyville 7
- Jerseyville 3, St. Charles 2
- Valmeyer 7, St. Charles 3
- Valmeyer 4, Eureka 1
- Eureka 7, Quincy 4
- Quincy 8, Jerseyville 5
- Balwin def. Metro East by forfeit
- Aviston 5, Ballwin 4
- Aviston 11, Belleville 1
- Jackson 8, Belleville 0
- Jackson def. Metro East
- Belleville 8, Alton Jrs 7
- Jefferson City 5, Alton Jrs 3
- Jefferson City 3, Morgantown 1
- Festus 8, Morgantown 1
- Belleville 2, Festus 0
- Valmeyer 1, Belleville 0
- Jackson 3, Jefferson City 1
- Valmeyer 8, Jackson, Mo. 3