Ford & Sons keeps its season alive with win in zone tourney

Sunday, July 25, 2010 ~ Updated 12:03 AM
Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion batter Ryan Grigaitis hammers a third-inning home run during an elimination game against AmVets Post 67 in the Zone 4 tournament Saturday at Capaha Field. Cape won the game 19-6 in seven innings. (Laura Simon)

The Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion baseball team was understandably disappointed with its performance to open the Zone 4 tournament.

Cape bounced back Saturday afternoon by routing American Veterans 19-6 in a losers bracket game of the five-team, double-elimination event at Capaha Field.

Post 63, the host, still had some business to take care of Saturday night as it faced District 14 rival Dunklin County in another elimination contest that started late and was still underway at press time.

The winner of the Cape-Dunklin County matchup advances to today's 2 p.m. losers bracket final.

Cape improved to 38-12 with the easy victory over AmVets from metro St. Louis in a contest that was stopped after seven innings by the 10-run mercy rule.

Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion second baseman Josh Hiett fields a grounder during the fifth inning of Saturday's game against AmVets Post 67.

AmVets (16-16), which opened the tournament Friday with a 35-0 destruction at the hands of Dunklin County, was the first squad eliminated from the zone.

"It was a good way for us to bounce back," Cape coach Todd Pennington said. "We felt like we didn't play as well as we could last night and we especially didn't hit the ball."

Post 63's tournament opener was Friday's 10-0, seven-inning loss to Eureka in which Cape managed just three singles.

The contest was 1-0 until Eureka exploded for nine seventh-inning runs. Cape aided that uprising with five errors.

In Saturday's affair, AmVets scored its first runs of the tournament but couldn't come close to keeping up with Cape.

Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion player Ryan Grigaitis (15) is congratulated on his third-inning home run by teammate Dustin Crowden during their Zone 4 tournament game Saturday against AmVets Post 67 at Capaha Field. (Laura Simon)

Cape grabbed a 5-0 first-inning lead and broke things wide open with an eight-run third inning that made it 13-0.

Post 63 had 17 hits, including a home run by Ryan Grigaitis. He also doubled.

Josh Hiett led the way with three hits. Dustin Crowden tripled and doubled. Jimmy Obermark and Tanner Hiett both added two hits.

Obermark, Tanner Hiett, Josh Compas and Logan Morris all had two RBIs.

Tanner Hiett pitched the first five innings for the win. He allowed seven hits and five runs, all unearned. He struck out three and walked two.

Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion third baseman Dustin Crowden fields a grounder during the first inning against AmVets Post 67.

Josh Meyer, who had missed the past several weeks with an ankle injury, pitched the final two innings. He allowed one run and one hit while striking out four and walking four.

"I thought Tanner did a good job, and it was nice to get Josh back," Pennington said.

Trailing 13-0, AmVets scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning.

Cape made it 15-1 in the fifth inning before AmVets put up four unearned runs in the bottom of the frame.

A four-run sixth inning by Post 63 made it 19-5. AmVets rounded out the scoring with a run in the bottom of the sixth.

AmVets Post 67's Tashon Latimore slides home safely as Ford & Sons American Legion Post 63 catcher Andrew Williams waits for the throw during the fifth inning.

Dominique Hargrove had three hits to lead AmVets.

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