PERRYVILLE -- A pair of talented and experienced American Legion baseball teams combined to end Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63's season Friday.
After Cape began the Zone 4 tournament with Thursday's 12-5 win over Herbert Hoover, Post 63 went down at the hands of Festus and Eureka at Perryville City Park.
Defending zone champion Festus sent Cape into the losers bracket of the five-team, double-elimination event with a 12-1, eight-inning victory in Friday's opener.
Then, in the last of Friday's three games, Eureka eliminated Post 63 5-3 as Cape finished third in the zone.
Festus (30-3) and Eureka (24-9) will meet in the championship round at 1 p.m. today. Festus, which beat Eureka 4-1 Thursday, needs just one more win to claim the title.
For Cape, its bounce-back season is over at 31-15. Post 63 won its first district crown since 2003 after going 9-22 last year
"I'm very proud of what the guys accomplished, to go from bad to great in one year," first-year Cape coach Todd Pennington said. "We've got a bunch of young guys. Festus and Eureka have some older guys, a little more polished. That's what we'll be next year."
Friday's winners bracket final against Festus was pivotal, since the victor would be the tournament's only undefeated team and would advance into today's title round.
LEFT: Cape's Jimmy Obermark leaps for a throw to third during the third inning.
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"Festus just smashed the ball," Cobb said.
Cleanup batter Owen Conway did the most damage for Festus with two homers, a double and five RBIs. His three-run shot in the first inning set the tone, and his two-run blast in the third inning made it 5-0.
Travis Hayes dominated Cape's offense, striking out seven and walking one.
Cape's highlight was Jimmy Obermark's solo homer in the seventh inning.
Josh Henson took the loss, allowing 10 hits and nine runs (seven earned) in five innings.
"Festus is a really good team," Cape's Jamie Pickel said.
The losers bracket final against Eureka could have gone either way as both squads had 10 hits.
Cape missed out on numerous chances, stranding 12 runners.
"We had opportunities, but that's what happens when you don't take advantage," Pickel said.
Pickel was solid on the mound, allowing nine hits and five runs (four earned) in 7 2/3 innings, but he suffered his first loss and fell to 9-1.
Cobb finished up with 1 1/3 scoreless frames, striking out three.
"Jamie pitched well, and Skylar did a good job," Pennington said.
Austin Greer had three hits for Cape, including a triple. Henson added two hits, one a double.
Post 63 never led after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning as both runs scored on wild pitches.
A third-inning solo homer by Eureka's Ben Smith broke a 2-2 tie and Cape could not catch up.
"We had our chances, but sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other team," Cobb said.
Despite Friday's two losses, things are still looking up for Cape as most of this year's players will be eligible to return next season.
"This year was huge, and hopefully we can keep it going next year," Cobb said.