FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS — Things started off promising for Louisville Post 914 during their Division tournament opener against Murphysboro Post 127. Lawson Britton led off the game with a double and scored on an Adam Cox fielder's choice, with an error moving Nate Micklautz to third. But Cox took off too early with two outs, and the pickle he got caught in eventually pushed Micklautz to try and score. Micklautz's head-first slide wasn't enough, ending the rally up 1-0. The positive momentum faded too. Murphysboro strung together back-to-back-to-back singles, scoring a run on Kaleb Jarrett's RBI single. With two on and no one out, Justin Pulcher bunted in front of home, and Micklautz's throw went wide of Hunter Clifton. Two more runs scored, and the game was never the same. Murphysboro (27-5) scored once more in the inning and 11 more times overall, besting Louisville 15-4 in seven innings."We kind of had a letdown right there, and we didn't pick ourselves up like we normally do," said Louisville coach Jay Walker. "We had the quality of players, definitely, to get through it."Louisville (15-3) now plays at 10 a.m. today against Aviston in the losers' bracket, needing a win to keep its season alive. Walker said the play in the first inning was unfortunate, but it just wasn't Louisville's day Monday. "That happens," he said. "Plays like that are going to happen. It's just you've got to read things a little better."Murphysboro scored two more in the third to go up 6-1. Louisville came back in the third with another Britton double and an RBI single by Micklautz, but the rally wasn't sustained. Gavin Ellet crushed a homer to right in the fourth, sparking a four run rally where his homer was the only hit. Dylan Walker walked three straight batters and was pulled, only to have Nick McKnelly walk in a run of his own. Wild pitches haunted both pitchers in the inning. Murphysboro grabbed five more runs in the fifth inning, capped off by a two-run single by Pulcher in an inning where 10 batters came to the plate. The Post 914 team kept fighting, down 15-2 in the seventh facing the 10-run rule. Clifton and Walker led off with walks and McKnelly singling. Austin Stinnett drew a bases-loaded walk with no out, and Britton drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left with one out. But Micklautz's flare to right hung up too long for any runs to score, ending the game early. Britton led the offense for Louisville, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI. Micklautz was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Adam Cox was 1-for-3 with an RBI and McKnelly was 1-for-3 as well. Dylan Walker gave up 10 runs (seven earned) in 3.1 innings, taking the loss.It's a quick turnaround for Louisville, but Jay Walker thinks they'll be ready. "We're just getting right back on the horse," he said. "We'll be a different team tomorrow morning."
Murphysboro 042 450 0 15 13 1Louisville 101 000 2 4 6 2WP - Rose LP - Walker
Louisville: Britton (2-3, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R); Micklautz (2-4, RBI); Cox (1-3, RBI); Clifton (0-2, R, BB); Walker (0-2, R, BB); McKnelly (1-3); Stinnett (0-0, RBI, BB)