Eureka had post-season experience and drive but Jackson Post 158 had a potent hitting attack and solid pitching. That combination proved too much to overcome as Eureka fell to Jackson 11-5 in a second round losers bracket game in the Zone 4 legion tournament at West City Park in Festus Friday night (July 25).
Eureka, which won the zone last year to advance to the state tournament saw its season end at a disappointing 19-21.
“We got up 2-0 early on them and then they got their bats going in the third, fourth, and fifth innings and they hit the ball real well and we made some mistakes defensively,” Eureka associate coach Cam Phillips. “They are a real good club and we knew what to expect coming in and we played hard but things just didn’t work out for us tonight and we came up short.”
Post 177 got the upper hand early with a pair of runs to go up 2-0 after two innings of play.
Jackson came storming back against Eureka starter Jared Boyer (Eureka and Iowa Wesleyan). Post 158 scored two in the third inning, two in the fourth, and two more in the fifth inning to blaze to a 6-2 lead.
“They (Jackson) got their bats going in the third and they started hitting real well and they were able to but some runs up in the middle of the game and toward the end,” Phillips said.
Post 158 kept the runs coming over the last four frames as Jackson scored five more times to finish the night.
Boyer pitched six and one-third innings before giving way in relief to Michael Cheung (Eureka) in the seventh and then Tristan Johnson (Drury University) who came on in relief in the eighth inning.
“Jared pitched very well for us and I’m really proud of the effort he turned in,” Phillips said. “He just didn’t get a lot of help from his defense.”
Eureka did manage three more runs in the final four innings but that offense was not near enough against a loaded Jackson lineup. Luke Schumacher (Central Missouri) had a big night for Eureka with a double and a pair of RBI.
This was not how Eureka expected the weekend to end up but Post 177 is not making excuses and in spite of the up and down season, Phillips does believe the club represented itself well through the summer.
“”I think even with all of the ups and downs and injuries we dealt with, our seniors helped lead us to a successful season,” Phillips said. “We lose 8 or 9 seniors from this club and we have a bunch of juniors coming up next year from the junior team so i think we’ll be ready to go in 2015 with no problem.”