One local team remains in Legion postseason

Pictured is the Valmeyer Post 901 Junior American Legion baseball team, which won the District 22 Tournament at Alton over the weekend and will host the Fifth Division Tournament this weekend. (submitted photo)

The postseason got underway last week for junior and senior American Legion baseball teams, with only one of three local squads advancing to the next round.

The Valmeyer Post 901 Junior American Legion team defeated Columbia and Highland to win the District 22 Tournament at Alton over the weekend.

Valmeyer (16-8) advanced to the Fifth Division Tournament taking place at Borsch Park and Valmeyer High School this Friday through Sunday. The top three teams will advance to the state tournament taking place Aug. 2-5 in Wheaton.

Valmeyer opens Fifth Division tourney play at 5 p.m. Friday at Borsch Park against Carrier Mills. Other tourney teams are Highland, Effingham, Orient, Teutopolis, Steeleville and Mt. Vernon.

The Post 901 juniors opened District 22 tourney play Saturday against Columbia, winning 13-0.

Gibson Sippel allowed just three hits with five strikeouts for the mound victory. Mitchell Kohnz collected two hits and three RBIs in the second inning when Valmeyer scored six runs. John Fausz duplicated the feat in the fifth as Post 901 scored seven more runs. Fausz had a single and a three-RBI double.

Max Woelfel slides into home for a run for the Columbia Junior Legion baseball squad during a home game last week against Highland. (Alan Dooley photo)

Columbia won its second game of the tourney, 3-2, in nine innings against Alton. Jake Steve came through with the walk-off hit for Post 581. He also went the distance on the mound in the victory.

The Post 581 juniors ended their inaugural season, however, with a 3-1 loss in 10 innings to Highland 2. Columbia finished with an overall record of 12-9.

On Sunday, Valmeyer managed only singles by Sam Fitzwilliam and Jacob Rowold  against Highland 2, but both came in the third inning as Highland committed four errors and hit a batter and Post 901 scored five unearned runs.

Dustin Crawford pitched a complete game, allowing eight hits with eight strikeouts and a walk. Highland scored runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but Valmeyer won 5-2.

Highland 1 forfeited the championship game scheduled for Monday, giving Valmeyer the title for the second straight year. Valmeyer received an automatic berth to the division tournament as hosts, with Highland 1 also earning a spot.

Riley McCarthy leads Valmeyer in hitting at .400 with 22 RBIs and a .667 slugging percentage.

Crawford leads the Post 901 pitching staff at 4-0 with a 1.18 ERA. Sam Huebner is 2-1 with a 0.83 ERA.

Senior legion update
The Valmeyer Post 901 Senior American Legion squad ended its season last week with losses in the District 22 Tournament.

Valmeyer lost to Alton, 2-0, and Edwardsville, 5-4, to end its season at 13-12.

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