There was a sense of déjà vu for Columbia Post 202.
Post 202 held off Jefferson City Post 5 in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday night at American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex in Jefferson City for a 9-8 victory and the District 8 Tournament championship.
Reliever Kyle Smith started the ninth inning for Post 202 with a 9-6 lead but struggled before striking out A.J. Gould on a full count to secure the win.
Smith allowed two singles to start the ninth, and Dusty Schnieder hit a sacrifice fly to score Adam Bailey from third. Drew Diddle followed with a single to score Derek Morrow and bring Post 5 within 9-8, before Gould came up.
“I was kind of having flashbacks,” Smith said.
Smith pitched part of the ninth inning in Post 202’s 8-7 victory against Post 5 Tuesday night.
Post 202 (24-9) advances to the Zone 1 tournament in Moberly next week to play for a spot in the state championship Aug. 5-7 in Sedalia.
Post 5 went ahead 1-0 the first, but Post 202 came back in the second when Johnny Kruse hit a triple to drive in Joseph Montgomery, Nicholas Steponovich and Tyler Jones. Kruse scored on Smith’s double to put Post 202 ahead 4-1.
Smith had a another double in Post 202’s four-run fourth, again to score Kruse. Jacob Kemper’s triple drove in Smith, and Kemper scored when the Post 5 shortstop couldn’t handle Montgomery’s grounder. Joseph Drennan’s single over second base brought in Scott Dunwoody for an 8-3 lead.
In the fifth, Kruse singled, stole second and then scored on a single by Smith for a 9-4 lead. Post 5 picked up two runs in the seventh to cut the lead to 9-6.
Kruse went 3-for-5, had three RBIs and three runs scored.
Jefferson City (32-11) reached the title game in the double-elimination tournament by winning 13-1 against Centralia Post 113 earlier Wednesday.