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Titans baseball vs RC Post 320

Titans baseball vs RC Post 320

Sturgis Post 33 Uses Pitching, Defense to Win American Legion Season Finale

Terry Anderson, KBHB Sports - July 23, 2020

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rapid City Post 320 jumped out to an early 1-0 lead over Sturgis Post 33, but the Titans used pitching, defense and timely hitting to beat the Stars 8-3 in the final game of the 2020 American Legion baseball season.

Post 320 starting pitcher J.T. Kostenbauer came out sizzling, shutting down the Titans in the top of the first.  Kostenbauer, Mitch Sand, Logan Miller, Gage Darrow and Logan Ammerman were honored prior to the game on “Senior Night” at Pete Lien Field.  The Titans weren’t kind to Kostenbauer on his special night, lighting up the right hander with their hot hitting throughout the game.

David Anderson got the start for Post 33 and the left hander got two quick outs in the bottom of the first before walking Stars catcher Wyatt Hunt.  Left fielder Tate Walker singled and right fielder Gavyn Dansby brought Hunt home with another single to put Post 320 up 1-0.  Anderson walked designated hitter Logan Miller to load the bases with two outs but refocused and struck out first baseman Logan Ammerman to end the inning.

Right fielder Colton Cruickshank got the hit parade started for Post 33 with a one-out single in the top of the second.  Catcher Zack Hess smacked a double over Walker’s outstretched glove in left field to move Cruickshank to third.  Titan shortstop Owen Cass then stepped to the plate and hit a single up the middle to score Cruickshank and Hess and Post 33 took a 2-1 lead.  Post 33 head coach Dominic Bradford gave R.J. Andrzjewski the bunt signal and the second baseman executed a perfect one down the third base line, moving Cass to second base.  The ‘small ball’ strategy paid off as Dustin Alan poked a single to left centerfield, scoring Cass from second.  Post 33 led 3-1 after two innings. 

The Titan bats heated up again the top of the fourth behind singles by Hess, Cass and a two-RBI double by Alan.  Post 320 added a run by Ammerman in the bottom of the fourth and Sturgis Post 33 led 6-2 after four innings.

The hot hitting continued as Cruickshank and Cass both singled in the top of the fifth and Andrzjewski crushed a double to left center, driving in a run to give the Titans a 7-2 lead.  Alan then laid down a beautiful bunt, forcing Stars catcher Wyatt Hunt to throw to first, giving Cass the room he needed to cross home plate from third.  After five full innings, Post 33 led Post 320, 8-2. 

Post 320 relief pitcher Garrett Grismer came in for Kostenbauer in the top of the sixth and struck out three Titans to end the inning.  Relief pitcher Gage Murphey took over for Anderson in the bottom of the sixth, with Anderson moving out to center field.  Miller and Ammerman both singled to lead off the inning and it looked like Post 320 was putting together a rally late in the game, but Anderson made two outstanding defensive plays on well-hit balls to centerfield to keep the Stars from scoring any runs.  Murphey walked Lane Darrow to load the bases with two outs but then struck out Gage Darrow to end the inning.  The Stars left three on base in the bottom of the sixth as the Titan defense came up big to keep Post 320 from closing the gap.

Hunt doubled to center field to lead off the bottom of the seventh but that was the only offense the Stars could muster, as Murphey struck out Walker and forced Dansby to hit a weak grounder to Andrzjewski, scoring Hunt with two outs.  Titan third baseman Cruickshank made a highlight reel catch over the fence in foul territory to end the game, giving Post 33 an 8-3 win over Post 320.

Anderson got the win for the Titans, throwing 91 pitches through five innings, giving up only two runs on four hits.  Anderson didn’t give the Stars much to hit through his five innings, confusing the Post 320 batters with a mix of breaking balls, fastballs and change-ups, striking out seven and walking four.  Murphey collected the save.  Post 33 had 13 hits and six left on base and were led by Owen Cass, the “Kwik Mart Sturgis Subs Player of the Game”, who was 3-4 with three runs scored, two runs batted in and great defensive play.  Alan was named the “Kwik Mart Sturgis Subs Hard Luck Player of the Game” and earned an ice cream cone with his single, double and four RBIs.

Kostenbauer took the loss for Post 320 on the mound.  The Stars had seven hits and nine left on base.  Gavyn Dansby was 2-3 with two singles and one RBI.

Post 33 ends the American Legion regular season with a record of 21-9 and are waiting until Friday to find out their postseason opponent after all games are complete.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785