STE. GENEVIEVE – A rally that originated with two outs in the eighth inning helped Jackson-Thomure Bonne Terre Post 83 preserve its Senior Legion baseball season late Thursday night.
Sean Pruneau sent four straight pitches from reliever Briar Fischer into foul territory before drawing a bases-loaded walk, and the Bulldogs eliminated De Soto S.M.C.I. 7-6 in the District 13 tournament.
Briley Smith finished 2-for-3 plus a sacrifice bunt while reaching base four times, and scored his third run after an infield hit sparked decisive sequence.
Kolten Poorman followed with a single to left field, and Jared Jones was issued an intentional pass with a 3-0 count after both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
Bonne Terre (7-6) advanced to face top seed Festus in the championship final of the double-elimination on Friday at Yanks’ Field despite blowing a five-run advantage.
Brian Chandler pitched three hitless innings for his second relief win of the tournament. The first of his four strikeouts extinguished a bases-loaded threat in the top of the sixth.
Fischer delivered quality work on the mound for De Soto in defeat after replacing starter Shawn Brooks with two outs amid a five-run Bonne Terre outburst in the second inning.
He was also helped by superb defense. Second baseman Nick Carter robbed Pruneau of a tie-breaking hit in the fourth with a diving stop and sprawling flip for a force out to strand three men.
Right fielder Brett Gibbs cut down courtesy runner Karter Kekec going from first to third, and later fired to second as Eli Claywell was out stretching for a double.
Post 83 gained separation at 2-1 when a walk and hit batsman by Brooks preceded his throwing error on a bunt by No. 9 batter Cody Hubbard in the second inning.
Jacob Bone ignited a 3-for-5 performance from the leadoff spot with an RBI single, and Hubbard scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead. Smith drove in the fourth run of the frame with a misplayed ground ball, and Poorman singled him across the plate to make it 6-1.
Bone aimed for a durable start to spare the Bonne Terre pitching staff, and kept De Soto mostly at bay until issuing his fifth, sixth and seventh walks of the night in succession during the fourth inning.
Tommy Hahn followed with an RBI single. Hubbard fanned his first batter for the second out, but Hunter Canada cleared the bases with a three-run double to bring De Soto within 6-5.
Trace McDaniel added a tying single, and the deadlock remained until the final pitch four innings later. De Soto left 11 runners on base
Bonne Terre generated a 12-4 margin in hits, including two singles apiece from Poorman and Claywell, but wasted a one-out triple by Karson Kekec in the third.
Jones gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 edge with an RBI single in the first inning. De Soto pulled even on two defensive errors in the top of the second.