mossimo polo shirts Manchester tops Lemay in opening round of District 10 tournament
Lemay made things interesting in the top of the ninth, but Manchester held on for a 6 4 victory Monday in the first round of the American Legion District 10 playoffs at Heine Meine Field.
“It was tough at first because we couldn’t get a lot of balls in play, but (Ben) Ellebrecht went out there and threw a gem,” Manchester coach Austin Avalos said. “The bats came alive a little bit towards the end because I think they saw Ellebrecht working his butt off trying to get a win for us. Tuesday in a second round game. Lemay (4 8, 8 17) is scheduled to play Thursday in the elimination side of the bracket.
Ballwin (8 4, 13 15) defeated Kirkwood (2 11, 2 17) 21 2 in the second game of the first round Monday.
Hawkins entered the game in the ninth after starter Ellebrecht went the first eight innings. After striking out the first batter he saw, Hawkins got into a little trouble.
“I kind of lost the rhythm I was in when I was pitching, but I kept trying to overthrow the ball,” Hawkins said.
After Hawkins gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases, Avalos visited the mound to settle his reliever.
“Like a lot of guys who have good arms, they just want to throw it past people,” Avalos said. “I told him that he went in 150 percent and I told him to dial it down a bit.
Ellebrecht went eight innings to earn the victory, striking out six and giving up just two runs.
“I didn’t like how I started off,” Ellebrecht said. “It was a kind of weak start, but as the game went on, I got into the groove and got into it and had fun with it.”
Lemay and Manchester were tied 2 2 going into the bottom of the seventh, but miscommunication in the field proved to be the spark for the Manchester offense.
After Manchester’s Joey Baumann reached on a hit by pitch, Andrew Berndt laid down a bunt. Lemay’s pitcher and catcher collided with each other trying to field the ball and Baumann kept running all the way home.
After Manchester scored the go ahead run, it tacked on three more runs on two more hits to push the lead to 6 2.
Lemay jumped on early pitches early in the game, but in the final inning they worked the count.
“They had the take sign until they got a strike,” Lemay coach Steve Fuchs said. “I try to teach them old school methods. We were down four runs and in the top of the ninth, we had to use your head.”