The Jefferson City Post 5 Juniors were on a roll Thursday afternoon, plating six runs in the bottom of the second inning. It didn't appear anything would be able to slow them down.
Enter Mother Nature, stage right.
Played was suspended due to lightning, followed by a steady dose of rain into the evening, with the Post 5 Juniors leading Chillicothe Post 25 by a score of 9-0 in the first game of the Missouri American Legion AA Zone 1 Tournament at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex.
The Post 5 Juniors are becoming too familiar with rain delays. Their previous two tournaments have been cut short by rain, as they only played two innings in the Fike Jr. Wood Bat Tournament in Blue Springs and had the rest of their GMB Nationals tournament canceled Sunday after a 2-0 start.
"This is kind of how we left off at Ellisville last weekend," Post 5 coach Shawn Kesel said. "We were in the middle of the second inning, and then rain came and knocked us out again.
"It's starting to be the tale of the season for us."
Play will resume at 11 a.m. today, with Post 5 having Jack Robertson on second base and Hunter Berendzen on third base with Jace Kesel batting with two outs in the bottom of the second inning.
"I'd like to see them pick up where they left off," Shawn Kesel said. "They were hitting the ball well, taking good pitches, running the bases pretty decent."
Post 5 starting pitcher Max Buscher worked around a leadoff walk in the first inning and a pair of errors in the second, stranding three runners in scoring position with strikeouts to end each inning.
"He came up big and struck them out," Kesel said. "He made a big play there at the end."
His offense gave him plenty of run support.
With a full count and two outs in the bottom of the first, Nate Roark hit a 3-2 pitch into the right-center field gap, scoring Holden Brand and Jude Rader. Roark would later score on a wild pitch to extend Jefferson City's lead to 3-0.
"We call him 'Big Nate' for a reason, because he comes up in big situations and takes care of us," Kesel said. "He does a great job for us."
Luke Cavender hit a two-run double in the second inning for Post 5. Dalton Scheulen scored on a wild pitch, Berendzen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Robertson drew a walk to force in a run.
Rader scored on an overthrow to first base on the final play before the game was suspended, extending Jefferson City's lead to 9-0.
"Being aggressive, that's the way we teach them," Kesel said. "We want them to be aggressive at the plate. We don't like hanging around and looking for walks. You're not going to get any RBI that way.
"But we did get some RBI that way in that inning."
The winner will face Washington Post 218 in a winner's bracket contest. The loser of Game 1 will then play the loser of Game 2 in an elimination game in the three-team tournament.