Hannibal, which has won 11 straight, finished the regular season with a 13-5 record and opens the district tournament this week.
Logan Wilson made his mark with both his bat and his arm Friday night to lead the Hannibal Legion Post 55 AA baseball team to a 12-2 win over St. Clair at Clemens Field.
The Van-Far standout smoked a three-run double to cap Hannibal's six-run first inning, during which 10 batters came to the plate to take a commanding lead.
“It was a good start to get in their head, and it gave us the momentum,” Wilson said. “I was just looking to do my job. A base hit would have scored, but I'll take the double too.”
One inning later, the second baseman transitioned to the mound in relief. Inheriting runners on first and second and two outs, Wilson allowed a double that scored one run before left fielder Treyson Culwell made a strong defensive play to help Post 55 gun out a runner at home plate for the third out.
“Treyson tracked the ball down quick and hit his cutoff just right, and Gabe (Worthington) turned around and fired it home,” Hannibal manager Deanie Waelder said. “It was a great play on defense. That's how it's drawn up.”
Wilson pitched three innings in relief to keep Post 55 ahead, striking out four batters while scattering three hits.
“I'm just more laid back when I have the lead,” Wilson said. “You don't have to stress as much. You just focus on your pitching, your spots, make sure you're doing the right thing, and you defense will back you up.”
St. Clair failed to score except for a pair of second-inning tallies.
Bradley McCollum started for Hannibal and went 1 2/3 innings, while Culwell tossed the final 1 1/3 frames of the win. Culwell achieved the rare feat of striking out four batters in the sixth inning due to a dropped third strike with two outs.
“Great pitching out of three kids,” said Waelder, who held his pitchers to low pitch counts so they would be available to pitch later in the weekend. “Bradley got us a good start. Logan came in and kept them at bay. And Treyson came in and shut them down.”
Braden Schlueter scored on an error and Worthington came home on a wild pitch for Hannibal's first two runs of the night. John Trenhaile scored on a passed ball to make it 3-0 before Wilson's bases-clearing double.
After St. Clair countered for two runs in the top of the second, Hannibal's Wyatt Waelder came home on a passed ball with two outs in the bottom half to make it 7-2.
Bryce Kirby raced home on a passed ball in the third to grow Post 55's edge to six runs. In the fifth, Worthington hit a sacrifice fly to score Hayden Hoerr before Waelder delivered an RBI double that brought home Kirby to grow the lead to 10-2.
Worthington walked with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to go ahead 11-2, and Waelder singled home Kirby to enforce the mercy rule.
“It's easy to have fun when you're scoring that much and playing good defense,” Worthington said of the victory. “We're just all having fun and going up there and playing our game.”
Despite only having five hits, Hannibal took advantage of five St. Clair errors to turn the game into a blowout.
“We didn't have very many hits,” coach Waelder said. “But we worked off their errors, we had walks and we made it happen when we had to have it happen. We made the most of what we had.”
The victory was the first of five over the weekend for Post 55, which also defeated Elsberry 12-2, Rosebud 28-0 and O'Fallon by scores of 8-1 and 13-1.
Hannibal, which has won 11 straight, finished the regular season with a 13-5 record and opens the district tournament this week at a time and location to be determined.
“Top to bottom, everybody contributed,” coach Waelder said of the strong showings. “It was a good weekend. We've had five games since Friday night, so we were just ready for Sunday to be over. But no complaints out of anybody. This is quite a bit of fun.”
Hannibal 12, Elsberry 2
Hannibal scored early and often to dispatch Elsberry 12-2 in six innings on Saturday afternoon.
Waelder struck out 10 batters over five innings to earn the victory, while Williams tossed the sixth to secure the contest.
Trenhaile led the offense with a 3-for-3 day at the plate that also included two runs and a walk. Danny Colborn and Casey Williams each collected two hits a piece.
“All up and down the lineup, people were hitting the ball really well,” coach Waelder said.
Hannibal 28, Rosebud 0
Hannibal worked through its lineup not just once but twice during the first inning of a 28-0 win over Rosebud at Owensville on Saturday night.
Every Post 55 batter reached base the first time through the order en route to a mega five-inning mercy rule win.
Schlueter dominated on the mound to throw a no-hitter for the shutout victory.
Worthington went 3-for-3 with five runs and three walks, while Williams and Trenhaile each finished with three hits a piece. Waelder went 2-for-5 with four runs.
Thirteen Hannibal batters recorded hits as Post 55 cleared its bench in the second inning with an opportunity for the whole roster to get playing time.
Hannibal 8, O'Fallon 1
In contrast to its three games the two previous days, Hannibal got off to a slow start Sunday during an 8-1 win over O'Fallon in the first game of a doubleheader.
“We came out flat,” coach Waelder admitted.
O'Fallon scored one run in the first inning to take the lead, which it held through three innings.
Eventually, though, Hannibal responded to score three runs in the third inning, one in the sixth and four more in the seventh.
Trenhaile finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs, while Culwell went 1-for-3 with one RBI and three runs.
McCollum pitched five innings and allowed just one unearned run to get the win, and Wilson tossed the final two frames and kept O'Fallon off the board.
Hannibal 13, O'Fallon 1
Hannibal picked up right where it left off Sunday to win the nightcap against O'Fallon 13-1.
Adam Baxter started on the mound and struck out seven batters while allowing one unearned run over five innings.
Wilson went 3-for-5 with five RBIs to lead the offense, which plated three runs in each the second through the fourth innings and four more in the fifth to enforce the mercy rule.
Kirby knocked in a pair of RBIs, the first of which came on a third-inning double that scored Williams. Later that same frame, Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Hoerr before Levi Rafferty grounded out to score Kirby to make it 6-0.
Hoerr, Kirby and Wilson each collected RBIs in the fourth inning before Alec Mundle, Colborn and Wilson drove runners home in the fifth to seal the deal.