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Post 265 rally stalls

POTOSI – Seven shutout innings in sweltering conditions from right-handed pitcher Zach Francis went unrewarded in Junior Legion baseball action on Friday evening.

Potosi Post 265 gradually chipped away after encountering a five-run deficit just six batters into the game, but a questionable double play squashed all momentum.

Briar Fischer retired his last eight batters faced, Ethan Sampson chipped in two doubles offensively, and De Soto S.M.C.I. held on for a 5-4 road victory.

Potosi greeted Fischer with three consecutive singles from pinch-hitter Wyatt Jessen, Francis and Luke Gaia to score once in the bottom of the fifth.

Hayden Roney appeared to beat a return throw as Fischer covered first base, but was instead called out before another ground ball stranded the potential tying run at third.

Fischer needed only nine pitches to navigate the sixth, and was never threatened in the seventh while nailing down a three-inning save.

Post 265 finished with a 7-6 edge in hits – scattered among seven different players – and committed three defensive errors that Francis managed to work around.

But the damage was already inflicted against Potosi starter Dakota Dowd as De Soto capitalized when three of its first four De Soto hitters walked.

Sampson doubled home Kameron Brooks and Fischer to make it 2-0, and a fielder’s choice failed to yield an out before Corey Gibbs made it 5-0 with a two-RBI single.

Francis began his relief effort by mowing down 12 of his first 14 faced, and allowed only four hits while recording seven strikeouts.

Sampson worked the first four frames to earn the win for De Soto. He easily rolled through the first inning before surrendering three runs on four hits and fanning two.

Dowd legged out a slow roller in the bottom of the second, and Ryker Walton scored for Post 265 on an RBI single by Cody Ruble, who was later caught stealing.

Walton sparked a two-run rally in the fourth with a single that put runners at the corners. Keith Jessen lined an RBI hit as the next batter, and Ruble made it 5-3 with a ground out.

Potosi made two alert defensive plays to cut down runners at home after Sampson doubled and Levi Fischer singled to begin the fifth inning.

Ruble recovered an errant pitch to the backstop and threw to Francis for a quick tag on Sampson. Jessen then fielded a ground ball and fired to Ruble in time to catch Fischer.

The De Soto third base coach argued that Ruble blocked his runner’s path to the plate – even though the throw arrived in plenty of time – and was ejected from the game.

Grant Beck reached on an error in the De Soto sixth, but was caught stealing third by Ruble for the first out. Brooks, who was 2-for-3 overall, singled two batters later.

The District 13 tournament will be hosted by Ste. Genevieve Post 150 next week.

Potosi Post 265 shortstop Keith Jessen throws to cut down a De Soto runner at home after fielding a ground ball during fifth inning Junior Legion baseball action on Friday.

Potosi Post 265 shortstop Keith Jessen throws to cut down a De Soto runner at home after fielding a ground ball during fifth inning Junior Legion baseball action on Friday.

Potosi Post 265 batter Luke Gaia connects for an RBI single during fifth inning Junior Legion baseball action against De Soto on Friday evening.

Potosi Post 265 batter Luke Gaia connects for an RBI single during fifth inning Junior Legion baseball action against De Soto on Friday evening.

Matt King is the sports editor for the Daily Journal. Contact him at mking@dailyjournalonine.com

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