Post 202 uses hitting spree to come back

Friday, August 6, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:33 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

SEDALIA — Columbia Post 202’s offense was dominant Thursday.

Post 202 overpowered McDonald County Post 392 in its first game of the American Legion State Championships, earning a 13-6 victory at Liberty Park Stadium in Sedalia.

Post 202, which fell behind 3-0 after committing two errors in the second inning, scored in six consecutive innings, producing 18 hits.

Post 202 (29-9) extended its winning streak to 11 and will play at 5:30 p.m. today against Blue Springs Post 499.

With Post 202 trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth, Tyler Jones’ in the park home run brought his team back.

Ryan Concannon advanced to first on an error on Joseph Montgomery’s ground out to second. Eric Schultz advanced to first after being hit by a pitch. After Nicholas Steponovich popped out, Jones hit a liner to the left-field fence off Post 392 starter Tony Morgan, driving in Montgomery and Schultz. Jones then reached home on another error to tie it at 5.

“We’ve been doing this all the summer,” coach Jim Dapkus said. “And, we almost hoped that the magic never stops. You don’t want to ask why it’s happening. Hopefully, it keeps going.”

Post 202 went ahead 6-5 in the fifth. After Concannon walked and Schultz singled, Concannon scored on Steponovich’s single to left. Schultz also tried to score but was tagged out at home.

Jones led off the sixth with a double and scored on Johnny Kruse’s double for a 7-5 lead. Jacob Kemper hit a single to right off Post 392 reliever Matt Choate, driving in Kruse.

Jones had a RBI single in the seventh and went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored in the game.

“I was seeing the ball really well,” Jones said. “I guess it’s my day.”

Post 392 scored a run in the eighth to narrow the lead to 9-6 when Martinez reached home on Slinkard’s single off Post 202 reliever Lance Rodeman. Post 202 added four more runs in the eighth on three hits.

In the second, Post 392’s Ben Allman walked, and Jose Martinez hit a single off Post 202 starter Chris Nichols and Post 392 scored two runs when Post 202 right fielder Concannon fumbled Slinkard’s fly. Post 392 extended the lead to 3-0 when Post 202 second baseman Johnny Kruse couldn’t handle Seth Walter’s grounder.

Nichols pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs and five hits.

“Our pitching kind of screwed up a little bit,” Dapkus said. “But, offensively, we finally got our bats going.”

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