Columbia Post 202 opened the District 8 Championship in fine fashion.
Post 202 routed Centralia Post 113 on Monday, earning a 14-2 win at American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex in Jefferson City.
The game was called in the seventh inning because of the 10-run rule. Post 202 plays No. 1 seed Jefferson City Post 5 at 6:30 p.m. today.
Post 202 (22-9) had 14 hits in the game and scored six runs in the first three innings to help starter Lance Rodeman, who had nine strikeouts in the seven innings.
“Lance did a pretty good job pitching for us,” Post 202 coach Jim Dapkus said. “He put himself in a lot of jams, but pitched out of them. So he did what he needed to do.
“It’s always good when in a possible week-long tournament, the first pitcher goes up there and eats up a lot of innings for you. He did that for us, so we are in good shape pitching wise.”
After Marcus Himmelberg walked to lead off the second and Nicholas Steponovich singled to right, Tyler Jones hit a three-run home run off Post 113 starter Travis Whitesides to give Post 202 a 4-0 lead.
Johnny Cruise followed with a single and advanced to third on Kyle Smith’s single, but Jacob Kemper grounded out to the pitcher and Scott Dunwoody flied out to left field to end the inning.
In the third, Joseph Montgomery led off with a bunt hit and advanced to third on Whitesides’ errant pick-off throw. Montgomery scored on Himmelberg’s sacrifice fly to left-center field to extend the lead to 5-0. Taylor Drennan doubled and scored for a 6-0 lead when Post 113 left fielder Michael Fibel dropped Steponovich’s pop fly.
In the fourth, Rodeman walked Dalton Armontrout and gave up a single to Michael Fibel, but he struck out the next three hitters to end the inning.
“If we can get the right guys on and move them over and kind of keep scoring a little bit, that puts a lot of pressure on the other team,” Dapkus said.
Post 202 added eight more runs in the fifth.
Jones went 2-for-3 with five RBIs, and Jacob Kemper went 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Post 113 (10-7) scored single runs in the fifth and seventh, but that was all it could get.
Dapkus said today’s game will be difficult because both teams know each other well. Post 202 lost to Post 5 twice this year.
“It’s going to be a big one,” Dapkus said. “We have to limit the mistakes. They are really good at capitalizing on errors and walks and all that.”