For the Elsberry American Legion Post 226 ‘AAA’ squad the end of the season was one they would like to forget, five straight losses. Lucky for them, District play was just around the corner.
Elsberry started the tournament against Central on Thursday night.
Starting pitcher Joe Ilgenfritz was almost untouchable on the mound. He allowed only one hit through eight innings to get the 6-0 victory. He struck out two and only walked three hitters. Abraham Griesbauer pitched the scoreless ninth striking out two of three batters he faced.
Offensively Post 226 was led by three two-hit performances from Brennen Hurley, Jordan Powell and Dale Diederich.
“The boys played a good game with strong defense and timely hitting, both of which have been sporadic for us thru out the season,” said Coach Joe Pott.
The win over Central put Elsberry in the final four where they would face powerhouse Washington on Friday night.
Diederich took the mound and according to Coach Pott, pitched a pretty good game through six innings, but errors defensively and an offense that could only muster four hits allowed Washington too topple Elsberry 5-0.
On Saturday, Elsberry was to face off against Wentzville. According to American Legion Baseball rules 12 players are required to be present in ‘AAA’ District Tournaments, the Wentzville squad was forced to forfeit giving Elsberry their second win of the tournament.
Later that afternoon Post 226 would take on Daniel Boone for a chance to get into the play-in game on Sunday.
Elsberry had faced Daniel Boone only once during the regular season with Elsberry getting a 7-0 shutout victory. This time however the tides were turned and Daniel Boone shutout Post 226 4-0 to end their season.
“I think after sitting around all Saturday and having to wait to play, the boys came out flat and just could not find their bats. Josh [Phillips] took the mound and pitched a good game, but again we had a few errors and could only muster three hits,” said Pott.
The ‘AAA’ squad finished the season with a 19-16 record and according to Coach Pott “we played some great ball at times.”
“We made a great showing in the Kansas City Tournament, we had stellar pitching pretty much the entire season, but our defense was not there like it needed to be and our bats would go cold for several games at a time,” said Pott. “Your bats are going to go cold off and on throughout the season which is just the way the game is played, but you have to have solid defense game in and game out to stay at the top and that is what we struggled with this season.”
Coach Pott went on to say “we showed signs of playing strong defense, but just could not stay away from that one bad inning in the game that puts you behind the eight ball.”
Elsberry ended up in fourth place in both the regular season and district tournament.
“We as an organization are proud of the way all three teams finished this year. We played tough, hard-nosed baseball and never gave up which Elsberry Legion baseball is known for and we settled for nothing less,” said Pott
All three teams finished in the top four in each of their divisions which says a lot about one of the smallest programs size wise in District 9 and one of only five programs to run all three teams.
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