Finishing with more hits than Rhineland on Thursday night was little consolation for the Hannibal Legion A baseball team during a 5-3 loss that eliminated Post 55 from the Missouri District 9 Tournament.

Finishing with more hits than Rhineland on Thursday night was little consolation for the Hannibal Legion A baseball team during a 5-3 loss that eliminated Post 55 from the Missouri District 9 Tournament.

Playing at a neutral site in Washington, No. 3 Rhineland scored five runs on just four hits and held off No. 7 Hannibal’s seven-hit attack to advance to the semifinal against Washington.

Hannibal fell behind 5-1 after five innings and mounted a comeback in the seventh that was too little too late. Garrett Stone stroked a one-out single to center field to score Corder Lehenbauer and Spencer Locke, and Post 55 put the tying run on base with two outs, but a groundout ended the contest.

"We just fell a little short,” Hannibal manager Brian Stone said. "We made a push there. It was actually a pretty clean game. We just left too many runners stranded. There were a couple times when we had either bases loaded or men on second and third with less than two outs, and we just couldn’t get them in.”

The fourth inning served as a prime example. Hannibal loaded the bases with one out as Charlie Hirner walked, Cooper Hinkle was hit by a pitch and Kaden Malone singled on a fly ball to left. Rhineland starter Trent Anderson, who earned the win with four innings pitched with one run allowed, registered the final two outs of the frame on just four more pitches.

Rhineland went ahead 1-0 in the second inning before Lehenbauer came home to knot the score in the top of the third. After reaching on an error and advancing on a single by Chase Kirby, Lehenbauer stole third base and came home on a wild pickoff throw.

Rhineland countered with a two-run double in the fourth inning and tacked on two more in the fifth to take a four-run advantage.

Kirby started on the mound for Hannibal and pitched four innings while allowing three runs (two earned) to keep his squad in the game. Lehenbauer pitched the final two innings and was touched for a pair of fifth-inning runs.

"Chase went four innings and did a solid job,” Stone said. "He did well. His pitch count just got up there, so we thought it’d be a good idea to change things up a little bit, so we brought in Corder."

Hannibal couldn’t muster any late magic to keep its tournament hopes alive after winning two straight games entering Thursday. Post 55 bounced back from a loss to Sullivan last Wednesday to beat St. Charles 6-0 last Thursday and St. Clair 6-4 last Friday.

Despite being knocked out of districts, Hannibal’s season still has life by virtue of hosting next week’s state tournament, which gives the squad an automatic berth.

Hannibal will face Washington or Sullivan at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Clemens Field in the first round of the state bracket. Post 55 has already played and lost close games to each opponent.

"We’re looking forward to a rematch,” Stone said.