Jackson Senior Legion baseball finds bats, holds off Eureka rally to advance to zone tournament semifinal

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Jackson stands for the playing of the national anthem during Legion Zone 4 Tournament opener in this July 18 file photo. Post 158 won a second straight game to begin the tournament when it defeated Eureka Post 177 on Wednesday night.
Andrew J. Whitaker ~ Southeast Missourian

The Jackson Post 158 Senior Legion baseball team put together another strong performance on Wednesday night, holding off a late rally threat to defeat Eureka Post 177, 9-5, in a Zone 4 Tournament quarterfinal at Whitey Herzog Field in Jackson, Missouri.

Post 158 (21-19) took a 7-0 lead through five innings before Eureka made things interesting, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth and then three in the final two innings, loading the bases in the eighth and the ninth.

Post 177 had the tying run at the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Jackson relief pitcher Jakoata Walther induced a double-play line drive to first base to escape the jam.

Walther then worked into some trouble in the ninth, but limited the damage to two runs to secure the win.

Post 158 will play Festus at 7 p.m. tonight in a winner's bracket semifinal.

Gavon Turner started on the mound and got the win for Jackson, going six innings and giving up two runs -- one earned -- on three hits, with four strikeouts and six walks.

Drew Brown and Walther pitched in relief to finish things off.

Jarrett Newell poured fuel on the offensive fire for Jackson, going 4-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs to lead the victors, while Tyler Martin and Braeden Dobbs each had two hits.

Austin Sims took the pitching loss for Eureka, going 3 1/3 innings and being tagged for seven runs -- just two earned -- on five his, with two strikeouts and three walks.

Baylor Talcott drove in three runs for Post 177.

Post 158 took the lead for good in the top of the second inning, with Turner helping his own cause with a sacrifice fly before a wild pitch plated another run and Martin drove in another with a base hit that made it 3-0.

The hosts doubled that lead in the next inning, as Newell led off with a solo home run to left field.

A fielder's choice and an error made it 6-0 after three innings.

Martin singled and scored in the top of the fourth after moving up on a sacrifice bunt, heading to third on a passed ball and crossing home plate on a Newell double to give Jackson a seven-run advantage.

Eureka scored just enough to offer a threat, but Post 158 brushed it off, and the two teams traded runs in the ninth inning to set the final score line.

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WP -- Gavon Turner. LP -- Austin Sims. 2B -- Jarrett Newell (J) 2, Sims (E). HR -- Newell (J). Multiple hits -- Jackson: Tyler Martin 2-4, Newell 4-6, Braeden Dobbs 2-3; Eureka: Sims 2-3.

From staff report

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