MARSHALL — The Senior American Legion baseball Cardinals sponsored by Vern R. Glick Post No. 25 crossed the 20-win threshold on Thursday night, with a pair of decisive victories over Marshall on the road, 10-3 and 14-1, thanks in large part to a four-hit, three-walk, three-homer, nine-RBI bounce-back effort from offensive powerhouse Justin VanHoutan.
With their doubleheader sweep on Thursday, Post 25 improved to 20-10 on the year. They will next play league rival Hannibal in Chillicothe at “June”?Shaffer Memorial?Park tomorrow at 6 and 8 p.m., respectively. They will also face Oak Grove at Danner Park Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m.
The Cards took it to Marshall early in game one, and didn’t take their foot off the gas until they had built a sizeable lead.
Steven Cooper was walked in the first at-bat of the game, and Trenton Troyer singled to left field on a line drive to put two on with no outs. Zac Douglas then batted a ground ball to the Marshall shortstop Mason Paulus, who was charged with an error on the attempted out, loading the bases for J. VanHoutan. Trey VanHoutan came in to run for Douglas. J. VanHoutan was walked on a full count to bring home Cooper. Derrick Leeper then proceeded to pop a doubled into left field, plating Troyer and T. VanHoutan, and bringing J. VanHoutan to third base.
With two on and no outs, J. VanHoutan was caught trying to steal home, with Trace Phillips at the plate. Phillips then proceeded to ground out to Paulus, who took the out at first base, and allowed Leeper to go home, making It 4-0 in the early goings. Troy Toedebusch doubled to right with empty bases, but then Andrew Bottorff struck out looking on four pitches to strand him and end the top of the inning.
Douglas was on the mound for the Cards in game one, and lasted the entirety of the contest, striking out three and allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk. Two of those runs came in the bottom of the first, as Marshall posted their response via an error on Bottorff and a wild pitch from Douglas.
The lead down to two, Issac Mattis took the first pitch he saw from opposing pitcher Jared Harris straight into right field on a line drive. Cooper then walked on a full count, bringing Troyer to the plate. After evening things up at one-and-one, he skied a ball into left field, where Marshall’s Devin Cott came down with a circus catch. Douglas flew out to Cott in the very next at-bat. With two outs, and a runner in scoring position, (along with Cooper, on first) J. VanHoutan took his first strike to eye up what Harris would allow him, then jacked a bomb over the fence to the opposite field of his predecessors, scoring his two teammates and himself, and putting Post 25 up 7-2 after two innings.
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