Despite racking up eleven hits, Post 924 will now look to keep its season alive in the losers' bracket today at 9 a.m. against Effingham Post 120. The winner will take on the loser of today's 4:30 p.m. matchup between Vandalia and Altamont on Sunday for a right to move out of district action and on to Centralia.
"I told them, 'Every team we play from now on, we're sending them home,'" Blievernicht said.
For much of the game, it looked as though Blievernicht's team wouldn't be joining the bottom bracket. Playing as the underdogs once again, Post 924 drew first blood in the opening inning after a Jake Roepke strikeout. Post 924 answered with back-to-back base hits from Riley Drees and Austin Johnson. Drees singled to right center off Post 95 starter Zach Schaal, and Johnson's double to almost the same spot, with a little more juice behind it, scored Drees from first for a 1-0 advantage.
Post 95 regained the lead in the bottom of the third. Ledbetter and Collin Nestleroad gave the No. 2 seed a pair of baserunners on consecutive singles, before cleanup hitter Jake Bowin's two-out, two-RBI triple to right center had Post 95 in front 2-1. On the next at-bat, Post 95's Taylor Knisley ripped an RBI single to left that scored Bowin for a two-run lead.
The lead remained at two until the fifth, when Post 924 tacked on a three-run inning to push ahead 5-4. Drees, Johnson and Tyler Westendorf connected on three consecutive RBI singles to regain the lead.
"Those guys are swinging the bat like I've never seen before," Blievernicht said. "They're just finally now getting locked in, and everybody's getting good swings."
Post 924 added what it hoped would be an insurance run on the way to victory in the seventh off Kyle Smith' s RBI single to left that scored Johnson, who reached on an error. Yet Post 95 wasn't out of it yet. Johnson, pitching his second inning after entering in the sixth in relief of Smith, started the seventh with a walk to Ketchem and single to Ledbetter. Nestleroad hit a sacrifice RBI to bring Post 95 within one, and a wild pitch from Johnson allowed Ledbetter to coast home and knot the score.