KIRKSVILLE – Post 202 refuses to lose.
Columbia’s American Legion team defeated Kirksville BB 14-1 to become the Zone I Tournament Champions on Saturday at North Park Complex in a game that ended after seven innings because of the 10-run rule.
“It’s what it was all about, really,” Post 202 coach Jim Dapkus said. “The whole summer the goal was to get to this point, and we picked a great day to play a great game.”
Post 202 earned a berth in the state championship tournament, which starts Thursday in Sedalia.
Post 202 (27-9) crushed Kirksville (24-10) with 15 hits; Kirksville managed five off pitcher Josh Terry.
Terry pitched a complete, seven-inning game for the win. He walked two and struck out one.
In the first inning, Terry gave up a walk and a base hit, but settled into cruise control for the rest of the game.
“My arm was kind of sore the first few innings, that is why I was kind of doing that,” Terry said. “I got some Icy Hot on it, some Aleve and settled down. Had some backup in the field and started rolling.”
Dapkus said it was an early plan to save Terry for a game like this.
“We kind of forecasted that he was going to be able to pitch in this kind of situation,” Dapkus said. “It worked out where we were able to use him in this game and he threw a great game.
“Josh has done that all summer for us. He’s maybe had a couple of bad innings, but in terms of just going out there, throwing strikes and putting up a lot of zeroes, he’s been doing it all summer.”
Post 202’s lineup wanted to have some fun, too. Seven runs in the sixth inning put the game out of reach.
Third baseman Jake Kemper began the rally with a leadoff home run over the right field wall. His hit sparked Post 202, which had eight hits in the inning.
After Scott Dunwoody’s double down the third-base line, Kirksville looked to pitcher Nick Pfeiffer for help, but Post 202 pounded Pfeiffer for seven hits.
John Tallmage’s bases-loaded double off the wall in center drove in three runs. Tallamage went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
Tyler Jones hit a home run to left field in the fourth inning. Eric Schultz also hit a home run to left, a two-run shot in the fifth off Nate Flickinger.
“That’s how it goes some days, and this happened to be our day,” Schultz said.
Schultz said the hits gave the team “a better dugout feeling” for the rest of the game.
In the first inning, Post 202 jumped out to an 1-0 lead on Jones’ bases-loaded walk off Kyle Newland.
Kirksville scored in the seventh after Skylar Sowder doubled off Terry. Sowder came home on a Tyler Martin double.
Terry was happy with the win, but it stung to lose an opportunity at a shutout.
“I did want it,” Terry said. “I was pretty upset, but it turned out all right.”