The St. Peters Post 313 Sr. Legion baseball team headed to Blue Springs, Missouri last week hoping to gain some positive momentum as its 2019 summer season wound down before the playoffs.
A tough Pool B bracket that featured powerhouses such as Rod’s As of Blue Springs and some tough luck conspired to leave Post 313 winless after a four-day, 25-team tournament – losing four of its five games by three runs or less.
“We didn’t win a game, but we were in every game except for the last game on Saturday,” Rick Reno, St. Peters skipper, said. “All the other games, we had an opportunity to win and we would just have one bad inning or a couple of errors, and next thing you know you are down by a couple [of runs] and can’t come back.”
The tourney started for Post 313 on July 11 with a pair of games against Rod’s As and the Concordia [NE] Mustangs that day.
St. Peters held a 1-0 lead in the second, but Rod’s As took control with a five-run third inning; Post 313 lost 9-6 despite outhitting Rod’s As 12-8. Derick White led St. Peters with four hits.
Later that day, Post 313 managed six hits but were done in by four errors as they dropped a 4-1 decision to Concordia.
“We got through the first two innings and it was like 2-0, and then we make an error with two outs in the fourth inning … and we make an error and throw the ball around a little bit, and they get two more runs,” Reno said. “That kind of just put the nail in the coffin.”
On Friday, July 12, St. Peters faced Jefferson City in the morning, and then played St. Joseph Post 11.
Against Jefferson City, Post 313 was victimized by bad luck at the plate, mustering just three hits and losing 2-0.
Carson Schultz was a major bright spot; he pitched eight innings and gave up just three hits and two runs in taking the loss.
“Carson Schultz pitched a heck of a game on Friday morning against a tough Jeff City team,” Reno said. “His pitch count was way down and he was able to throw about 90 pitches into the eighth inning; he had a terrific game.”
That night, despite holding a 6-1 lead through five innings, St. Peters fell to St. Joseph Post 11 as Post 313’s pitching collapsed in an eight-run sixth inning that propelled St. Joseph to a 9-6 win.
Post 313 finished out the tournament on Saturday with an 11-2 loss to host Fike Post 499.
Offensively, White and Derick Reno led St. Peters at the plate, hitting .467 and.375 respectively.
“We didn’t really play bad and were in every game, we just played some really good teams and that was the difference,” Reno said.
Next up for Post 313 is the District 9 Tournament, which begins on Wednesday, July 17. According to Reno, the Blue Springs Tournament was good preparation for the district tournament.
“It’s always a good time and the guys get a good chance of bonding together pretty well and that’s always good as you’re getting ready to go into your district tournament,” Reno said.
St. Peters [8-14] will open the tournament as the No. 3 seed behind Washington and Elsberry and will face Hannibal or St. Clair in the opening game.