STE. GENEVIEVE – The Senior Legion district baseball push by Jackson-Thomure Bonne Terre Post 83 met a mighty wall of resistance and ultimate conclusion on Friday evening.

Top-seeded Festus Post 253 came out swinging as 10 batters stepped to the plate in the first inning, and left no opening for the Bulldogs to mount a possible comeback.

Gunnison Heine went 3-for-3 with three RBI from the No. 8 spot in the lineup, and Michael Brewer yielded only an unearned run as Festus prevailed 11-1 in the championship game.

Jake Leitner finished 2-for-3 with a double, and Collin Mann singled twice for Post 253, which generated six runs on six hits during the opening frame against opposing hurler Kolten Poorman.

Festus (23-8) secured a return to the zone tournament, which will also be hosted by Ste. Genevieve Post 150 next week at Yanks’ Field.

Bonne Terre (7-7) finished above its No. 3 seed after collecting one-run victories against Ste. Genevieve and De Soto, but was swept in four meetings this summer against Festus.

Karson Kekec reached base three straight times for the Bulldogs, and handed his team a brief 1-0 lead when a two-out RBI single brought in Briley Smith.

Festus greeted Poorman with four straight singles by Gavin Turley, Mann, Brewer and Leitner – the last on a 0-2 offering – and added two more productive swings with two outs.

Heine ripped an elevated pitch to right-center for two RBI, and Jacob Bridges singled to make it 6-1 after Charlie Pratt touched the plate on a balk.

Brewer worked around four walks, scattered four hits and struck out four over five innings. His outing was conveniently shortened when Festus padded the margin with five runs in the fifth.

Jared Jones singled twice for Post 83, including a rocket single that slammed off the left-field fence and caromed directly to center fielder Brennan Pryor in the third.

Poorman allowed 10 hits and walked five with two strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. He managed to neatly erase an entire bases-loaded, no-out scoring threat in the third.

Jones charged in from shortstop to get a force play at home, and Jacob Bone recovered a potential pitch behind the plate to cut down late-breaking runner Pratt as Poorman covered.

Smith tracked down two deep fly balls in opposite gaps during the fourth, but Post 253 turned a leadoff walk and ensuing throwing error into a clinching rally one inning later.

Heine capped his perfect evening at the dish with an infield hit as Matt Rosen hustled to score from second base, and two more free passes forced in a run to make it 8-1.

Mann guided a two-run single to right field as the first man to face reliever Cody Hubbard. The ball was inexplicably held in right field, enabling Turley to come home and end the game.

Bone singled and walked in three plate appearances for Bonne Terre.

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


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