Crestwood American Legion keeps first place intact with 19-9 onslaught

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Simply stated, the Crestwood American Legion baseball team controls its own destiny.

Crestwood (13-6, 9-2 District 10) kept a tight grip for the top spot in the District 10 South Conference standings June 28 with a 19-9 bombing of Chesterfield.

“We actually came out and hit the ball really well,” Crestwood head coach Sean Erwin told the Call. “We knocked out Chesterfield’s starter early on, and it was one of those things that you can’t really explain in that our guys are really seeing the ball well right now.”

Post 777 hammered out 21 hits against Chesterfield and held a commanding 16-2 lead after just four innings of play.

Crestwood starting pitcher Tim Eikmeier recorded his fourth win of the 2006 season as he held Chesterfield to just six hits in six innings pitched. Eikmeier gave up three unearned runs while also walking three batters and striking out two. He’s currently 4-0 with a 3.83 earned run average.

“Tim actually had two rough outings before District 10 play started,” Erwin said. “He’s throwing really well for us with good quality pitches.”

Post 777 starting catcher Nick Bender recorded a three-hit performance that included a triple and a sacrifice. Bender also drove in three runs while scoring one run to bring his batting average up to .333 with a team-leading 24 runs batted in.

“Nick’s a great kid who had a really good year last year for us,” Erwin said. “He’s one of those kids that comes ready to play every day and really enjoys the game.”

Shortstop Mike Croghan also had a three-hit showing against Chesterfield as he drove in three runs on two triples.

Croghan also scored two runs and drew one walk as his batting average moved up to .406 with a team-leading five triples.

“Getting those extra-base hits were huge, especially with runners in scoring position,” Erwin said. “I think he’s hitting the ball well for us right now.”

Crestwood is on the road this week as the team competes in the Blue Springs Wood Bat Invitational in Blue Springs. Erwin said the tournament should be a good opportunity for Post 777 to see some of the top teams in the Midwest.

“It’s going to be nice to get the guys down there to play against some of the best teams in the Midwest,” Erwin said. “It’s a good opportunity for our guys, and they’re really excited about it.”