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No-hitter, rout highlight Post 5's pair of wins against Windsor

Tuesday night’s action at the American Legion Sports Complex ran the gamut from no-no to “Oh, no.”

First, the former: The Jefferson City Post 5 Seniors got a combined no-hitter from Corey Beard and Levi Rose in the opening game of a doubleheader with the Windsor Post 82 Titans and won 7-0.

Next, the latter: Post 5 used a merciless hitting attack in a cover-your-eyes, I-feel-bad-for-those-kids, when-will-it-be-over dismantling of Windsor in a 19-0, four-inning laugher in the nightcap.

The Seniors scored in seven of the nine innings they came to the plate, racking up runs in bunches after a bit of a slow start.

“The first game I thought we started off a little slow making adjustments, but we were able to get our approach down, sitting back, working the opposite field more,” Post 5 manager Dane Hughes said. “That’s something we’ve been talking about the last few games — making those adjustments quicker — and we were able to do that today, which is good to see.

A single run would have been enough for Post 5 to win the lidlifter, as Beard dominated during the first six innings. He faced just three batters over the minimum, as he walked just one and two others reached on errors.

He departed after throwing just 71 pitches, but Hughes said he never had any thoughts of keeping him in to chase the solo no-hitter.

“We kind of had a game plan for these (pitchers),” Hughes said. “In the first starts of the summer, the guys who hadn’t thrown in a while, we wanted to keep them around 75 pitches. And then for guys like Patrick (Schnieders) and Seth (Lehmen), they’ve been throwing 120-plus (in high-school games), I want them to basically have a down pitch count for a while.

“Corey was fine with it. I told him I wanted to keep him around 75 and he was at 71.”

Rose finished up, with a hit batter being the only blemish on his record, and the no-hitter was in the bag.

“It’s still cool for those guys to experience that (combined no-hitter),” Hughes said. “Levi did well coming in. He hadn’t thrown in a long time, about a year, so it’s good to have him back because he’s a strike-thrower and he has some pretty good stuff and he’ll help us.”

Post 5 got all the runs it would need in the bottom of the first inning. Dylan Brauner led off with a bunt single, drew an awful pickoff attempt that turned into a two-base error that put him at third, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Cole Distler.

Later in the frame, Trevor Schnieders walked, stole second and moved to third when the throw went into center field, and scored on a single by Garrett Haslag.

“We’ve got some guys that can run, especially the guys hitting at the top of the lineup right now,” Hughes said. “They get on and they’re a threat to steal and gap shots are scoring guys easy.

“It puts a lot of pressure on the defense. Guys are not going to want to throw breaking balls, so the guys behind them are getting more fastballs to hit. It’s nice to have that team speed.”

In the third, Brauner led off with a triple and scored on a groundout by Connor Hager to make it 3-0.

Post 5 got another run in the fifth when Brauner — who else? — singled and later scored on a perfectly executed double-steal with Hager.

The local club got its final three runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Nolan Bax, Brauner and Distler.

Brauner ended up 4-for-4 with one RBI and three runs scored.

“He’s doing a really good job at a leadoff position,” Hughes said. “He’s been finding a way to get on — walking, bunting for a hit, and he’s also showed some power. That’s been huge.”

The only drama from the second game was when Windsor would get its first hit of the night. The answer was the third inning, as a bloop double finally did the job for the Titans. But a single in the fourth, the final inning of the night, was the second of just two hits all day for the Titans.

Post 5, meanwhile, racked up 11 hits in just three innings at the plate. The Seniors got two runs in the first on an RBI double by Hager and a sacrifice fly by Trevor Schnieders.

Things started to pick up in the second inning, when four hits, two errors and a walk turned into five runs that made it 7-0. Patrick Schnieders’ two-run double was the big hit of the frame, while Logan Bax and Clayton Harrison had RBI singles and Hager drove in a run while reaching on an error.

But it got really bad in the bottom of the third when Post 5 racked up 12 runs on just six hits, utilizing five walks and four errors by the Titans to add to the damage.

And Post 5 showed off its sportsmanship in the frame, moving just station-to-station on hits that would normally have scored multiple runs and failing to score from third on the copious wild pitches unleashed by Windsor in the frame.

The game was finally called after Windsor’s next at-bat, but the damage was long done.

Hager led the offensive explosion with two hits and four RBI, while Beard had two hits and two RBI. Distler chipped in with two hits and one RBI, while Brauner, Patrick Schnieders, Logan Bax and Harrison had one hit and two RBI each.

Hughes said the players did a good job of not letting the scoreboard affect the way they approached their late-game at-bats.

“Situational hitting is something we’ve started to mention and something we’ll need in tight games,” he said. “We saw a few times last weekend there are teams we can outslug and you might be able to get by without getting a guy over and driving him in, but when we get in tight games, (situational hitting) is huge. A run can be big.”

Colin Brinker pitched the first two innings for the winners, striking out five of the six batters he faced and getting a weak groundout from the other. Haslag worked the next frame, allowing one hit and striking out two. Nolan Bax pitched the final inning and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out one.

Post 5 is now 9-0 on the season and will play Thursday through Saturday in the Howard Johnson Tournament in Springfield.

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