Eureka cuts down Cape in first round of zone

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Ford & Sons American Legion's Blake Smith slides into third as Eureka Post 177's Patrick Jacobs waits for the throw during the first inning of a game during the 2010 American Legion "AAA" Zone 4 Tournament at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau on Friday, July 23. Smith was safe at third. Ford & Sons lost 10-0. (Kristin Eberts)

The host was blanked in a run-rule loss and sent to the losers bracket

Dustin Crowden said the Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion baseball team has seen pitchers who throw harder than Patrick Jacobs.

But as far as effectiveness, Jacobs ranks right up there with the best hurlers Cape has come up against this year.

Jacobs fired a three-hit shutout as Eureka handed Post 63 a 10-0 loss in Friday's opening round of the five-team, double-elimination Zone 4 tournament at Capaha Field.

Eureka, from suburban St. Louis, led just 1-0 before exploding for nine runs in the top of the seventh inning. The game, scheduled for nine innings, ended after seven due to the 10-run rule.

Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion player Ryan Grigaitis chases Eureka Post 177's Nick Metz during a seventh-inning rundown in Friday's game. Metz was tagged out on the play.

"We wanted to start the tournament out a lot better," said Crowden, Cape's third baseman.

Jacobs, a left-hander who pitched this year as a freshman for Maryville University in suburban St. Louis, silenced Cape's normally explosive bats.

"He wasn't too overpowering but he knew exactly how to pitch," Crowden said. "He was probably one of the best pitchers we've faced as far as spotting his pitches.

"He had good movement on all his pitches. He just did a good overall job."

Jacobs allowed a leadoff single to Jake Pewitt in the first inning and a single to Trenton St. Cin in the second inning. Cape did not have another hit until Jimmy Obermark's seventh-inning single.

Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion base runner Trent St. Cin slides into second as Eureka Post 177's Nick Metz prepares to make the tag during the fifth inning of their first-round game Friday at the Zone 4 tournament at Capaha Field. St. Cin was out on the play. Ford & Sons lost 10-0 in seven innings. (Kristin Eberts)

"I just had to take a few innings to get going," Jacobs said.

Jacobs struck out five and walked three. He finished in style by fanning the side in the seventh inning.

"I had a changeup working," said Jacobs when asked what his best pitch was. "I was just keeping the ball low and letting them get themselves out."

Post 63 put two runners on base in the first inning on a hit and walk. That was Cape's best scoring chance as the host squad had runners on second and third with two outs.

Cape (37-12) did not place two runners on again until the seventh inning, by which time things had long since been decided.

Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons Post 63 American Legion shortstop Jimmy Obermark looks to field a ground ball during the fifth inning of Friday's game against Eureka Post 177.

Post 63 starter Jayden Pobst was strong early but faltered late. He carried a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning before Eureka (34-7) broke through.

Aaron Vogt belted the first pitch of the sixth inning over the right-field fence to break the scoreless duel.

Then came the decisive seventh inning that began with another first-pitch, leadoff homer to right field by Adam Driggs.

Two walks and a double made it 3-0. Another walk loaded the bases with nobody out and marked the end of the line for Pobst.

Ronnie Scott got two straight infield pop flies but Kory Wisdom delivered a two-run single to make it 5-0. Five more runs followed.

"It took a lot of weight off my chest," Jacobs said of Eureka's uprising.

Cape also imploded in the inning, committing five errors, three on wild throws, after playing errorless ball through six frames.

It was already 5-0 before a Cape error. The final four runs of the inning were unearned. James Norvell had the other key blow of the frame, a two-run double.

"We made mistakes we shouldn't make," Crowden said.

Pobst was charged with six runs, all earned. He allowed five hits, struck out four and walked seven.

Vogt went 3 for 4 to lead Eureka's nine-hit attack. Stephen Kohler added two hits.

Dunklin County 35, American Veterans 0

Dunklin County destroyed overmatched American Veterans (16-15) from metro St. Louis in Friday's tournament opener. The game was mercifully stopped after seven innings by the run rule.

Heath Horvath went 5 for 6 and belted three three-run homers. He finished with 11 RBIs.

Festus 6, Dunklin County 5

Defending zone and state champion Festus (22-3) scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to stun Dunklin County (38-9) in Friday's final game.

Dunklin County's Tyler Thompson, who went the distance, was dominant through eight innings.

Travis Hayes notched the victory with a strong relief performance.

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