This season has been like a roller coaster for the Elsberry American Legion Post 226 ‘AAA’ squad, but despite all the ups and downs (ups: three winning streaks of at least three games. Downs: four straight losses going into to their final game Tuesday night) Post 226 is 17-4 and currently in third place in their district.
As the long regular season comes to an end (Elsberry played their final regular season game Tuesday night) a bright spot for Post 226 was their play last week in the annual tournament in Kansas City.
For only the second time in eight years an Elsberry team made it into bracket play where they finished fifth overall.
“It was a great showing by the team,” stated Coach Joe Pott. “The last time was when our ‘AAA’ team finished third.”
Elsberry played the Pirates of Post 189 last Wednesday. The arm of Dale Diederich (5IP 2H, 3K) and the bats of Bradley Jordan (2-2, 3R, 2BB), Dave Goddard (1-2, 3RBI) and Kyle Eisenbath (2-3, 2R) led Post 226 to a 8-0 victory in only five innings.
The next morning Elsberry picked up a ninth inning 3-2 win against the Vikings from Omaha on a squeeze play by Eisenbath.
Brennen Hurley came on in relief to close out the victory and get the save. Darren Feldeworth started for Elsberry going five innings giving up two unearned runs on three hits, striking out six.
“Darren pitched a good game,” said Pott.
Later in the day Post 22 faced off against one of the top teams in the state in Rod’s Athletics.
“They just came off a tournament win in Springfield and had a 31-5 record going into the tournament,” said Pott.
Josh Phillips took the ball for Elsberry and “pitched a gem of a game” according to Pott.
The lefty Phillips shutout the top team giving Elsberry a 3-0 victory allowing only two hits.
Hurley picked up the game winning RBI.
One Friday, Elsberry faced Washington for their fourth pool game in three days.
“Joe (Ilgenfritz) pitched a good game but we came up short in a 6-2 loss,” said Pott.
The score was 3-2 with two outs in the third with a runner on third base and Goddard at the plate. He hit what was clearly a single but the umpire called it a catch by the center fielder who trapped the ball. That would have made it 3-3 and a whole new ball game.
“It was some of the worst umpiring I have seen all season. We lost three men on base due to bad calls plus a hit and a bad call at first. It is hard to win a game when it is 11-9,” said Pott. “We played good enough to get a wild card in the elite eight bracket on Saturday. “
Post 226 played the Belevue Post 339 West from Nebraska and lost a nail biter in the bottom of the seventh by a score of 2-1.
“We had several chances to win, but just didn’t get that timely hit,” said Pott.
Hurley pitched a three hitter but Elsberry just couldn’t muster enough support.
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