TEUTOPOLIS — A familiar foe stood between Effingham American Legion Post 120 and a third consecutive District 23 title on Tuesday night. Robinson Post 69 came up just short against Post 120 on July 9, falling 5-4, then lost again in the first round of the District 23 tournament by an 11-2 final margin. Four-straight victories in the losers' bracket, however, set the stage for yet another rematch.
Post 69 needed to win back-to-back games to claim Tuesday's title, but Post 120 stood its ground from the start. A three-run first inning, along with Devin Mayfield's five-strikeout, complete-game performance on the mound, fueled a dominating 8-1 win as Post 120 took its seventh straight game and secured an impressive District 23 three-peat.
"We had a day off [yesterday] fortunately," Post 120 coach Brian Hayes said. "We played well through the bracket. I know Robinson had a tough go, two games yesterday. An early lead, thinking they might be a little tired, that was big."
Alec Quandt and Carter Hayes singled in the first inning to give Post 120 a pair of early baserunners, and Drew Levitt's deep double to left center cleared the bags for a 2-0 lead out of the gates. One batter later in was brother Dirk's turn, whose RBI single to left gave Post 120 a 3-0 edge through one.
"It always gives your pitcher so much more confidence," coach Brian Hayes said of the fast start, "so much more room to work with."
The 3-0 lead suited Mayfield well, who was in complete control. Post 69 was held scoreless through the first six innings, never managing more than two hits in a single frame.
"I like to start off with offspeed a lot, keep them off-balance," Mayfield said. "Try to hit my spots, that's about all you can do.