Charlie Hirner pitched a complete game shutout to lead the Hannibal Legion Post 55 A baseball team to a 6-0 victory over St. Charles on Thursday night.

Charlie Hirner pitched a complete game shutout to lead the Hannibal Legion Post 55 A baseball team to a 6-0 victory over St. Charles on Thursday night. 

The win keeps Hannibal alive in the loser's bracket of the Missouri District 9 tournament. Post 55 is scheduled to face St. Clair on the road Friday.

Hirner scattered five hits over his seven innings and was aided by a stingy defense that played its best when St. Charles threatened. 

“Charlie just pitched a good game,” Hannibal manager Brian Stone said. “He didn't overpower anybody, but he was consistently throwing strikes and his defense was behind him 100 percent. We turned three double plays.”

The first double play came in the second inning. Stuck in a jam with the bases loaded and one out, Hirner induced a grounder to third baseman Ross Arch, who stepped on the bag at third and then threw across the diamond to Jerry Cunningham for the out at first base.

One frame later, Arch turned the same double play combination with two on and nobody out.

The final twin killing came in the seventh, when Hannibal worked around a leadoff walk with a 6-4-3 double play turned by middle infielders Logan Astorino and Garrett Stone.

Hannibal burst out of the gate for two runs in the first inning, taking a lead it never relinquished. Arch scored on a grounder by Spencer Locke before Stone singled home Kirby to go ahead 2-0. In the second, Cunningham scored on a wild pitch, and Kirby smoked a single to center to drive in Kaden Malone and Astorino. 

“That was a big jumpstart for us,” coach Stone said of the strong start. “We just kept getting timely hits. They came out with a lot enthusiasm.”

Stone tripled home Arch with two outs in the seventh inning to tack on an insurance run for the postseason victory.