Zone 4 American Legion baseball: Jackson ends Cape Girardeau's season

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Ford & Sons Cape Girardeau Post 63 Senior American Legion baseball team was the first squad eliminated from the Zone 4 tournament for the second year in a row.

Jackson Post 158 was responsible for putting the final touch on Cape's most recent 0-2 showing during the five-team, double-elimination event that Post 63 is hosting for the third straight summer.

Post 158 staved off elimination by beating Cape 13-8 at Capaha Field in a losers bracket game that didn't end until 12:40 a.m. Saturday.

Jackson rebounded from a 6-0 opening-round loss to Creve Coeur earlier in the day while Cape fell to Festus 7-3.

"It was good to bounce back and get a win," Jackson's Chase Simmons said.

Post 158 won six of seven meetings with Post 63 this year, including two victories at last week's District 14 tournament in Jackson.

"But they've been competitive games," Jackson coach Mark Lewis said. "They've all been close."

Cape (17-31) started strong Friday by building a 4-0 lead through 2 1/2 innings. The big blow was a three-run homer by Jesse Schott in the top of the third inning.

"It felt good off the bat," said Schott, whose blast went out to left-center field at spacious Capaha. "We came out strong."

Post 63 also led 5-1 after 3 1/2 innings before Jackson's offense got going.

Jackson (37-16) went up for good with a three-run fifth inning that made it 7-5.

Alex Bolen's RBI double tied the contest. Bolen scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, and Cody Harris capped the uprising with an RBI single.

Cape, which trailed 9-5, cut the deficit to one with three runs in the seventh inning. But Jackson pulled away again with four runs in the bottom of the seventh.

"We put up a good fight the entire time," Schott said. "We never quit."

Post 158 banged out 14 hits against Cape after being limited to just three hits in the shutout loss earlier Friday.

"We just hit the ball well," Simmons said.

Bolen paced Jackson with three hits. Simmons, Laban Petzoldt, Cody Harris and Lane Thompson all added two hits. Cody Heisserer delivered three RBIs, and Harris had two RBIs.

"We swung the bats a lot batter," Lewis said.

Caleb Rowald was the winning pitcher after relieving starter Joel Koenig.

Rowald allowed three runs, one earned, and three hits over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three.

Koenig gave up five runs, three earned, and four hits over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out two, walked four and hit a batter.

Joe Elfrink finished with two hitless innings. He struck out two and walked one.

"I thought Caleb was good," Lewis said. "We probably could have left him in. Joe did a good job."

Cape starter Travis Smith took the loss. He allowed seven runs, five earned, and nine hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked four. Logan Henson and Andrew Williams followed Smith to the mound.

Thomas Crocetti and Nick Essner both had two of Cape's seven hits.

Both defenses committed four errors. Jackson scored five unearned runs and Cape four.

"It was kind of a synopsis of our year," Cape coach Steve Williams said. "We couldn't make enough plays defensively. Jackson has a good hitting team, and you can't give them extra outs."

Post 63's zone showing ended a disappointing finish to the season. Cape won 12 of its first 18 games before losing 25 of its last 30.

"Defense was a big problem for us all year," coach Williams said. "We've got to fix that."

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