The Effingham Senior American Legion Post #120 baseball team competed in the Mattoon Firecracker Classic and went 1-3 over two days.
Post #120 opened tournament play Friday with a 6-5 win over Decatur, followed by a 3-1 setback to Danville Gold.
Effingham scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the fifth after Decatur rallied for five runs in the top of the inning to tie the score at 5-5. Cody Grove led off with a base hit and with two out, Kendall Ballman delivered an RBI double.
Brett Koester, who relieved in the fifth, got the final three outs to get credit for the win. Colin Koester was the starter.
Post #120 took the early lead with a four-run second. Dylan Guy started things with a single, went to third on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on a passed ball. Later in the inning, Colin Koester had a sacrifice fly, Nick Bishop an RBI single and Ryan Sandifer capped the inning with a run-scoring triple.
Effingham made it 5-0 in the third when Colin Koester’s single drove in a run.
After that first game, defense proved costly for Post #120. In the next three games, the Effingham squad committed nine errors, which accounted for eight unearned runs.
In the second game Friday, Danville took advantage of three miscues en route to a 3-1 win. All three runs were unearned.
Post #120 scored its only run in the top of the seventh. Grove was hit by a pitch and Joseph Kabbes and Ballman walked to load the bases with one out. The run scored on a ground out by Colin Koester.
Guy pitched a strong game, but took the loss. He gave up four hits and walked just one in six innings of work.
Effingham played two more games Saturday.
Post #120 took an early 3-0 lead, but Danville Blue rallied for a 5-3 win. Danville scored three unearned runs, as Effingham had four errors in the contest.
Grove had RBI singles in the first and third innings and another run scored on a balk. But Danville Blue scored three runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game and then tallied two more in the fifth.
Kabbes took the loss. He allowed four hits and five runs, while walking two and striking out three.
Effingham had a lead in its final game Saturday as well. Post #120 built a 5-1 lead, but dropped an 8-7 decision to Charleston Blue. Charleston used a six-run third to get back into the game and then scored the decisive run – which was also unearned – in the fifth.
Ben Strullmyer, Bryson Wall and Colin Koester each had two hits and Strullmyer drove in three to pace the Effingham attack.
Strullmyer and Koester had run-scoring hits in the fifth inning. Strullmyer added a two-run single and Wall an RBI double in the third as Post #120 took the 5-1 advantage.
After Charleston scored six in the bottom of the third, Effingham scored twice in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 7-7.
Grove pitched the final 2.2 innings and took the loss.
Post #120 is now 4-7.