Post 366 improves to 9-1 with Abilene sweep, Moundridge split


Daniel Jost puts on the breaks rounding third and watches the throw from right field after slugging a 2-run triple in the top of the first at Abilene Thursday. The hit sparked Legion Post 366 to a 4-0 lead en route to a 17-0 win

Andrew Ottoson / Free Press

With Brian Fruechting on the mound, Hillsboro Legion Post 366 won its ninth contest of the season in the first half of a Father?s Day doubleheader at Moundridge by a 10-0 tally.

Hillsboro then suffered its only loss of the season, 8-7, in the second game.

Hillsboro had run its unbeaten streak to eight by sweeping Abilene on the road four days earlier, hammering the hosts 17-0 in the first game and claiming a 4-0 win behind a strong outing by Tyler Ediger.

Moundridge?Game 1 began with a four-pitch free pass issued to leadoff batter Calvin Jeffrey. Three consecutive batters reached base behind him: Cole Starkey and Daniel Jost singled, and Travis Riesen clubbed a bases-clearing three-run double to right field.

Brian Fruechting was hit by a pitch and Kyle Hanigan singled to drive in Riesen.

Isaac Leihy flied out, and Will Case worked a full count walk to load the bases. But two more fly outs ended the inning before Hillsboro could add to its 4-0 lead.

That was plenty for Fruech?ting, who allowed just four runners in five innings. Fruechting allowed a double in the bottom of the first, but stranded Michael Stucky at second.

Fruechting ran an 0-1 pitch too far inside to Moundridge?s leadoff fifth batter in the bottom of the second, but struck out the next hitter and induced a 1-6-3 double play ball to face the minimum in the second.

Leihy singled and scored in the top of the third. Jeffrey walked with one out in the fourth, advanced on a single by Jost, and scored on a two-run single by Riesen.

Aided by walks to Leihy, Case, Tyler Ediger and Jake Liles, Hillsboro added three more in the fifth to make it 10-0.

Fruechting struck out two of the last three to close it. He tallied seven strikeouts for the game.

Game 2 came down to the wire, with Legion Post 366 carrying a 7-6 lead into the seventh.

Hillsboro led 3-2 after the first behind a three-run homer by Riesen, but Moundridge tied it in the bottom of the second and took a 5-3 lead in the fourth.

Hillsboro scored twice to tie it in the top of the fifth, with a Jost single driving in Jeffrey and a Leihy single driving in Cole Starkey.

Moundridge leadoff hitter Eric Loganbill scored the 6-5 tally on a single by Jerod Kaufman in the bottom of the fifth, but Legion Post 366 regained the lead in the sixth.

Tyler Ediger and Jacob Fish?hitting nine and 10 in the order?both reached base with two outs, bringing Jeffrey to the plate. Jeffrey slapped the seventh pitch of the at bat for a two-run double to left field, and Hillsboro carried a one-run lead into the bottom of the seventh.

But a two-out, two-run home run by Kaufman ended the game in walkoff fashion.

Abilene?Jake Liles got the start in the first game and held Abilene scoreless for four innings.

By the time Abilene stumbled into its first real chance to score in the bottom of the third, Liles led 11-0.

Powered by a leadoff walk by Dustin Strunk, Abilene pushed runners to second and third with no outs, but Liles struck out Ethan Cargile, worked leadoff hitter Tony Breeden into a fielder?s choice groundout and got Vic Clark to pop the full count offering up to second baseman Calvin Jeffrey to escape the jam.

Hillsboro added three more in the fourth, chasing Strunk off of the mound with back-to-back bases on balls. Kyle Hannigan and Brian Fruechting each drove in a run, with Fruechting scoring on a passed ball later in the inning.

In the bottom half, after a Daniel Jost throwing error, Liles beaned consecutive batters. Coach Tim Hein went to Brian Palermo.

Palermo gave up two line drives, but the defense behind him converted them into three outs.

Jost snared a softly hit ball at shortstop for the first out, then Jeffrey turned a harder shot into a double play, catching both the ball and a baserunner in mid-flight with a good read off the bat and a sharp throw to first baseman Brian Fruechting, who had beaten Colton Kohman back to the bag.

Palermo faced four batters in the fifth, striking out Strunk and inducing two groundouts to Jost.

The second game remained locked in a scoreless tie for three innings as six of the first nine Post 366 batters struck out.

But Jeffrey sparked the offense in the fourth, singling and stealing second. He advanced to third on a groundout by Jake Liles and scored when Brian Palermo singled.

But the lead was limited to 1-0 as Palermo was caught in a rundown.

It turned out that one run was all Tyler Ediger needed, but Post 366 added three insurance runs in the seventh, with Jeffrey again leading the charge.

Jeffrey singled and swiped two bags, and Liles followed with a walk. Then Palermo slugged a two-run double, and Jost drove Palermo in.

Coming?Hillsboro was scheduled hosted Abilene at the Tabor College field on Tuesday and to host Hesston at Memorial Field on Thursday.

Post 366 will face perhaps its toughest opponent of the season when it visits a Salina 18-year-olds club for a doubleheader at 6 p.m. June 25.

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