They knew the task would not be easy, but the Eureka Post 177 senior legion team stayed the course, and got the job done.
Behind another dominant pitching outing from Brennen Lummus and some timely hits and walks, Eureka grinded out a 7-3 win over Manchester Post 208 Tuesday night (July 2) at Ellisville Athletic Association.
“This was a good night for us,” Eureka associate head coach Cam Phillips said. “We knew that this was a big game for us in trying to stay in second place in the District and to try to get a little momentum.”
Eureka (14-12, 8-4) took control of the game with three runs in the eighth inning to get the upper hand for good.
“That inning was a mix of getting a few good hits and taking advantage of some walks and the guys did nice job of grinding out at bats throughout the night,” Phillips said.
Before the big sixth inning surge, Post 177 got another quality pitching performance from Lummus. The right hander dealt effectively from the hill for six and one-thirds innings before leaving the action. Lummus gave up just two runs on the night.
“Brennen was really effective on the bump for us tonight,” Phillips said. “He had real good location with his fastball and when he can do that, he is tough to hit off.”
Manchester (4-7, 2-3) managed to strike first as Post 208 pushed across a run in the top of the first but Eureka promptly returned the favor by scoring two in the bottom of the first.
In the third, Eureka plated another run for a 3-1 lead.
Manchester kept things close with another run in the top of the fourth to make it 3-2.
Two innings later, Eureka broke through on Manchester starter John Nowack for three runs in the last of the sixth.
Tristan Johnson got the scoring started with an RBI single and three walks helped bring in two more runs. Johnson had two hits and a sacrifice fly and a stolen base.
“Nowack was a tough lefty with a funky motion that was tough to hit against,” Phillips said. “We had some trouble early with him but we were fortunate to be able to get a few walks and a few hits and have a little success against him late.”
Luke Schumaker and Mike Williams also had key contributions as Schumaker scored two runs and Williams got three walks and a single.
Manchester got its final run in the top of the ninth and would get no closer.
“It was a good game, ” Manchester coach Kevin Crowley said. “John Nowack was our starting pitcher and he was good but he just didn’t have many calls go his way. You’ve got to give it to Eureka for the way they played and coached the game.”
Lummus improved to 4-1 with the win and Nowack took the loss.
Eureka heads to Alton this weekend for a Fourth of July Tournament before finishing the regular season with two games against Maryland Heights next week.
Manchester returns to action with a doubleheader on Monday at 5:30 p.m. against Ballwin at Ellisville Athletic Association.