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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Squirrels fall to Festus, 8-3

Sunday, July 11, 2010

(Photo)
Charleston's Josh Overbey dives back safely into first base after Festus American Legion Post 253's Josh Weidner attempts a pickoff throw. Receiving the throw is firstbaseman Connor Eisenbeis. Charleston lost the contest 8-3.
(Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- Holding their annual Cancer Night Friday evening, the Charleston Fighting Squirrels faced one of their toughest opponents of the season in Festus American Legion Post 253.

Though the Squirrels would come back to tie Festus in the fifth, Post 253 would score five runs in the final four innings to win 8-3.

"Anytime you bring a good ball club to come in you know you have to play well," Charleston coach Matt Bucher said. "That's what we told the kids. This is a Legion team that went to the Legion World Series last year and they're a really good ball club.

"For the most part I would say they rose up to the occasion probably about 90 percent of the way. We just didn't have kind of all of it there tonight, but we were almost there."

Errors cost the Squirrels throughout the night, starting in the third when two defensive mistakes allowed two batters to reach and one to score in what would be a three-run inning for Post 253.

Coming back to tie the game in the fifth, Charleston would also capitalize on errors, as a miss-fielded bunt by Festus' defense allowed Sam Johnson to reach base while scoring Jeff Long from second.

Cody Rice would lay down a bunt to score Johnson from third for the Squirrels second run of the evening while Marshall Stallings would cap the evening scoring on a passed ball by the catcher.

Festus would answer Charleston's rally quickly, however, loading the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth with Connor Eisenbeis at the plate.

Eisenbeis would ground into what looked like a double-play ball, but after Charleston got the out at home, they would send the ball fly past first base, scoring runners from third and second to make it a 5-3 ball game.

"Good ball clubs are going to take advantage of the errors that you make," Bucher said. "That's what (Festus) did tonight."

While the Squirrels would see runners reach in the six, seventh and eighth innings, Festus' relief corps would continue to hold Charleston at bay, striking out the side in the ninth to end the game.

"They brought in a couple of pitchers who were bringing it a little bit," Charleston's Dustin Brister said. "It kind of caught us off guard and our bats fell to the floor."

In taking the loss, starting pitcher Brandon Peters went seven innings giving up five runs on nine hits while striking out four.

"I felt great," Peters said. "There was a couple times where I was getting a little wild, but I finally settled down a little bit and started throwing strikes and let the defense work."

Though Peters didn't collect the win, Bucher said he was happy with his pitcher's performance.

"He did a great job tonight mixing up his pitches and keeping them off balance," Bucher said. "But the main thing is he letting them hit the ball and letting the defense work behind him."

The Squirrels offense collected four hits on the night with Stallings, Peters, Brister all contributing a single while Brister came away with a double.

Next up for Charleston, the Squirrels play Dunklin County's Legion team today in Senath at 2 p.m.

Festus 003 002 102 - 8

Charleston 000 030 000 - 3

WP -- Josh Weidner. LP -- Brandon Peters. Multiple hitters -- (F) Connor Eisenbeis 3-5, Mike Sides 2-3. 2B -- (F) Brendon Neel; (C) Jeff Long.