PARK HILLS — Four pitchers from Park Hills Post 39 kept the potent Festus Post 253 lineup reasonably calm, allowing eight combined hits in a bid to land a Senior Legion upset on Wednesday night.
But the three-time defending state champions still created plenty of action on the base paths, supplementing 11 total walks with seven stolen bases to secure a 9-7 road victory.
Jeremy Brown scored three runs and finished 2-for-4 while being perfect on seven defensive chances at shortstop, and designated hitter Blake Womacks reached base four times to pace district leaders.
Jesse Waters collected two RBI with two runs scored, and Brian Koppeis added two infield hits for the host Miners, who capitalized on a miscue to seize a temporary lead in the second inning.
Kyle Harrison advanced to third on a double by Zak Turner, and both men scampered home for a 2-1 edge when a pickoff throw by Festus hurler Cody Knoll deflected past third baseman Zach Faulkner.
Post 253 quickly regained the lead on a wild pitch and passed ball against Park Hills starter Garrett Manion. Alex Winkelman began the third inning with a triple that was initially misjudged in center field.
Knoll allowed a sacrifice fly to Waters in the fifth, but retired 10 of his final 12 batters after getting a double play in the third with runners at the corners. He allowed three hits and struck out three over six frames.
Brown and Womacks opened the fourth with back-to-back singles, and Nathan Lambert reached safely on a sacrifice and error. A pair of bases-loaded walks extended the margin to 5-2.
Two additional Festus players crossed the plate in the fifth against reliever Logan Bradley, but the visitors lost four separate runners in scoring position with a chance to create more distance.
Faulkner stole third base as Caleb Wilkerson drew a one-out walk, then found himself in a rundown after believing that the incoming throw was wild. Waters threw back to second base and retired Wilkerson to conclude the top of the sixth inning after chasing down Faulkner between third and home.
Three straight Park Hills batters reached safely in the eighth, but Chris Lamprecht answered with two called strikeouts after Harrison’s sacrifice fly brought the Miners to within 8-4.
Park Hills yielded an unearned run in the top of the ninth, then rallied for three tallies during the home half. Jeff McCord and Dale Mosier scored when Waters’ double to right was slightly booted.
Lamprecht induced two ground outs, including an RBI by Bradley, to complete the three-inning save.
Faulkner blasted a solo home run to center in the first inning, and Mitch Neel added an RBI single for Festus in the eighth.
Zach Manford was solid in a rare relief outing for Park Hills, allowing one run over four innings.