The Hannibal Legion Post 55 A baseball team ran into a wall Wednesday night in the form of Sullivan's Joshua Earney.

The Hannibal Legion Post 55 A baseball team ran into a wall Wednesday night in the form of Sullivan's Joshua Earney.

The ace pitcher tossed a complete game and struck out 13 batters to lead Sullivan to a 3-1 win over Hannibal in the first round of the Missouri District 9 tournament.

“Their pitcher was really good,” Hannibal manager Brian Stone said. “He only gave up four hits, and only one of those was a really hard hit ball.”

The two squads combined for just eight hits overall, putting offense at a premium.

Sullivan made the most of its limited opportunities.

The home team manufactured a run with its first batter of the game to take a lead it never gave up. Garrett Juergens tripled to center field and scored on a fielding error.

“(Juergens) hit one in the gap and got a triple,” Stone explained. “We tried to throw him out at third and the ball got away.”

Sullivan tacked on two-out runs in both the third and fourth innings to go ahead 3-0. 

Hannibal starter Chase Kirby pitched five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) while striking out three. Corder Lehenabauer pitched a scoreless sixth.

“Kirby did real well,” Stone said. “He was mixing his pitches up and kept them off balance. And he had a good defense behind him. We didn't have any errors after the first inning.”

The Post 55 offense, however, never gained enough traction to come back, but it wasn't for a lack of chances.

Hannibal failed to score after putting runners on second and third with one out in the fourth inning. A strikeout and groundout ended the scoring threat. One frame later, Post 55 loaded the bases with two outs but went down on strikes.

Charlie Hirner, who led the team with a 2-for-3 night, opened the top of the seventh with a double to give Hannibal life. Jerry Cunningham then singled to put runners on the corners with one out.

Hirner came home to score Hannibal's lone run thanks to a heads-up base running play, but two strikeouts thwarted the comeback attempt. 

“It was a close game,” Stone said. “It was a well-played game for the most part. We just couldn't put any hits together.”

Hannibal, which moves into the loser's bracket in the double-elimination tournament, plays at St. Charles on Thursday night.