Pittsburg Post 64 likes playing salty competition in preparation for zone and possibly state play.
During its second game of the day Saturday in the Pittsburg Legion/FSCC Classic, Post 64 ran into a salt dispenser named Mac-N-Seitz, which overpowered Post 64 from the game's first pitch during a 14-1 run-rule victory at JayCee Ballpark.
Mac-N-Seitz starting pitcher Ryan Wadkins (Kearney, Mo.) took Blake Vail's first pitch of the game and blasted it off the foul pole in left for a very quick 1-0 lead.
Vail did not make it out of the first, allowing six runs on five hits before Cody Grilz came on to earn the last out facing his first Mac-N-Seitz batter. It looked as if Post 64 could emerge from the first giving up only the solo home run — Vail struck out Ryan Ralston (Blue Valley West) swinging and Nick Banman grounded out 4-3. However, the next seven Mac-N-Seitz batters reached one way or another and three consecutive batters produced RBI — Tristan Perkins a bases loaded walk, Colson Bayles a two-run single and Adam Thies a RBI single.
Post 64 scored its lone run in the bottom of the first and in textbook fashion. Nate Grimaldi led off with an infield single — a chopper toward the middle which the second baseman bobbled for a split-second and that cost him attempting to throw out the fleet-of-foot Grimaldi. Grimaldi stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. With no outs, Christian Cedeno hit a fly ball deep enough to score Grimaldi on a sacrifice fly.
Mac-N-Seitz retired the next two Post 64 batters in the bottom of the first, then put the game away with six runs on six hits in the second.
First up in the second, Wadkins collected his second homer of the day against two different Post 64 pitchers (Vail, Grilz), both solo blasts to left.
Later in the second, a botched double play cost Post 64 dearly . . . because the next batter, the recently-awarded Gatorade Missouri Baseball Player of the Year named Colby Fitch hit one down the right field line past a diving Colton Gilbert. The ball rolled all the way to the wall, three Mac-N-Seitz runners (Blaine Fisher, Ralston, Josh Debacker) hustled in to score and Fitch motored into third for a three-run triple.
Mac-N-Seitz closed out the second with two more runs and the game evolved into the anticlimactic stage for the next two innings.
In the fourth, Fitch (Columbia Hickman) closed out the scoring with a leadoff solo homer — Mac-N-Seitz hit three leadoff home runs in four innings. During his junior year of high school, Fitch batted .500 with 25 runs scored, five homers and 22 RBI, plus a .960 slugging percentage.
Post 64 dropped to 2-2 in the Pitt/FSCC Classic and 3-3 on the season with a 6 p.m. game tonight against the Midwest Black Sox.
Page 2 of 2 - Pittsburg Post 64 3, Arkansas Express 2
Diamonds are a girl's best friend but on the baseball diamond, double plays are a pitcher's best friend and Post 64 benefited greatly from three double plays in a one-run victory over Arkansas Express.
In the second, with runners on first and second, Post 64 starter Nick George induced Austin Ply into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play (Matt Standlee 6, Austin Kratz 4, Cody Grilz 3).
In the fourth, with one down and a runner on third, Matt Sherry belted a scorching line drive straight into the glove of Post 64 third baseman V.J. Piccini and with a couple quick steps over to the third base bag, Piccini doubled off Cody Scroggins, who singled to lead off the inning and was primed to get the Express on the board.
In the seventh, holding onto a 3-2 lead with runners on the corners, Post 64 reliever Luke Marquardt played the cool hand in his only batter faced by inducing Jacob Brimer into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play (Nate George 4, Standlee 6, Grilz 3).
Three of the seven innings ended in double plays.
Offensively, Colton Gilbert delivered the game-winning hit — a two-out, two-run single with Gilbert down but not out in the count 1-2. He found an opening in the Arkansas Express outfield and his deposit plated Nate George and Bryan Wade.
Pittsburg Legion/FSCC Classic
at JayCee Ballpark
Mac-N-Seitz 14, Pittsburg Post 64 1 (4 innings)
MNS 661 1 — 14 14 0
P64 100 0 — 1 2 5
Ryan Wadkins. Blake Vail, Cody Grilz (1) and Ryan Cedeno. WP: Wadkins. LP: Vail. E: Luke Marquardt 4, Colton Gilbert. HR: Wadkins 2, Colby Fitch. 3B: Fitch. 2B Cedeno. SF: Christian Cedeno. SB: Adam Thies; Nate Grimaldi. LOB: MNS 6, P64 3.
Pittsburg Post 64 3, Arkansas Express 2
EXP 000 010 1 — 2 8 0
P64 000 120 X — 3 6 2
Blaine Knight, Jacob Brimer (6) and Hunter Hogan. Nick George, Brett Macary (6), Luke Marquardt (7) and Bryan Wade. WP: George. LP: Knight. SV: Marquardt. E: George, Wade. 2B: Hunter Hogan. SH: Hogan, Austin Ply. SB: Cody Scroggins 2, Hogan, Paul Rouse, Jason Hastings; Colton Gilbert, Cody Grilz. CS: Ply; Grimaldi. LOB: EXP 5, P64 6.