ANDOVER — The Emporia Post 5 junior American Legion baseball team split its first two games of the Andover Classic Friday.
Post 5 defeated Andover, 18-4, but fell short against Buhler 6-5.
“They did really good,” Post 5 head coach Cory Shovick said. “The first game really set the tone. Then, we really didn’t turn back in that first game. In game two, we had opportunities. We got down 6-1 and our guys didn’t give up, they fought back. We just couldn’t get that last run across.”
Against Andover, Post 5 got four runs across in the top of the first and never looked back. It added a single tally in the second, 10 in third and three in the fourth for the mercy-rule victory.
Cam Geitz went the distance, allowing four runs on four hits and striking out four.
John Pringle went 3-for-3 with four RBIs. Vance Kinsey and Logan Thomas each had three RBIs, while Bobby Thomas drove in two.
In the second game of the day, Emporia got itself in an early hole trailing 3-0 in the fourth. Post 5 then cut into the deficit by scoring on a Buhler error.
The Nationals extended their lead to 5-1 in the top of the sixth with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly.
Emporia got one back in the bottom of the sixth as Tanner McGuire drew a bases loaded walk.
Buhler scored its final run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single, leaving a steep hill for Emporia to climb.
Post 5 responded with three runs in the seventh , all of which came home on Buhler errors. It had thetying run on third, but couldn’t get it home.
Thomas drove in two runs for Emporia.
Hunter Redeker pitched a complete game, allowing six runs on eight hits and recording three strikeouts.
“Overall, everybody had a good day at the plate,” Shovick said. “I think the more that we play and not have extended periods of time off ... will gain them more experience. You can really see their confidence from the start to finish. We’ll continue to compete and build off that.”
Post 5 (3-8) will play Salina at 12 p.m. Saturday to finish pool play and will see where it stands when it comes to bracket play.