SEDALIA — When the Jefferson City Post 5 Seniors scored a run, so did Branson. When Post 5 went scoreless in an inning, Branson did as well.
The two teams kept following that pattern for 12 innings Sunday afternoon.
Jefferson City scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 13th, then held Branson without a run in the bottom half to hold on for a 4-3 win in the Sedalia Wood Bat Tournament at Liberty Park.
Post 5 went on to beat Oak Grove Post 379 by a score of 8-3 in the second game Sunday. Both of Jefferson City’s tournament games Saturday were canceled due to rain.
Post 5 opened the scoring in the first inning against Branson, when Landon Plochberger hit a leadoff single and scored on a single by Tagen Higgins. Branson answered in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff walk and an RBI single to tie the score at 1.
The score stayed that way until the top of the 11th inning, when the international rule was instituted with a runner on second base to start the inning.
Tanner Schmitz started as a runner on second for Post 5 in the 11th. He advanced to third base on a single by Trevor Jordan and scored on an error to put Jefferson City ahead 2-1. Branson tied the score with a run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 11th.
Higgins reached on a fielder’s choice in the 12th, scoring Plochberger again to put Jefferson City back in front 3-2. Branson answered with a two-out RBI single to extend the game another inning.
Jefferson City scored in its third straight inning, this time on a two-out single by Billy Underwood, scoring Schmitz. This time, Branson couldn’t answer, as Plochberger pitched a scoreless 13th inning to close out the win.
Jacob Roettgen went 3-for-6 with three singles in the win. Higgins, Jordan, Will Herrbold and Underwood all finished 2-for-6 at the plate, while Plochberger was 2-for-5. Post 5 finished the game with 15 hits and held Branson to just six hits in 13 innings.
Alex Grellner pitched the first three innings for Post 5, giving up one run on two hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Sam Schell threw the next three innings and gave up no runs on one hit with one walk and four strikeouts.
Alek Peters threw the next 41/3 innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Plochberger pitched the final 22/3 innings, giving up one run on one hit while striking out one.
In Game 2 against Oak Grove, the score was tied at 2 through four innings. Jefferson City then took control of the lead with two runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.
Roettgen and Higgins had back-to-back RBI groundouts in the first inning for Post 5. Oak Grove answered with a run in the bottom of the first and a tying run in the fourth.
Andy Hueste gave Jefferson City the lead with an RBI single in the fifth, and Plochberger scored on an error to make it a 4-2 game.
In the sixth, Grellner had an RBI double and scored on a wild pitch, while Jordan and Underwood hit back-to-back RBI singles to extend the lead to 8-2.
Hueste led the hitting attack, going 4-for-4 with two singles, one double and one triple. Plochberger finished with a single and a double, while Underwood added a pair of singles.
Schmitz was the winning pitcher for Jefferson City. In three innings of relief, he allowed one run and seven walks while striking out five.
Roettgen pitched the first three innings, giving up one run on one hit — Oak Grove’s only hit of the game — with four walks and five strikeouts. Hueste pitched the seventh, walking one batter and striking out one.
Jefferson City will play Friday through Sunday in the Firecracker Tournament in Fairview Heights, Ill. Post 5 opens Friday’s pool play against Trenton at 12:30 p.m., followed by a game against Highland at 3 p.m.
Bracket play begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the winner of each pool in the six-team tournament will receive a bye into the semifinals, with the championship game scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday.