Johnnie Johnson's second start on the mound was a dandy. The 2009 Fort Osage High School graduate pitched a five-inning three-hitter with eight strikeouts as Post 340 rolled to a 10-0 victory over the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics in the first game of a Zone 2 East doubleheader Thursday night at the Independence Athletic Complex.
Johnnie Johnson was getting bored.
So he did the next best thing.
Two weeks ago he joined Hi-Boy Drive In/Post 340 for a final season of American Legion baseball.
And his second start on the mound was a dandy. The 2009 Fort Osage High School graduate pitched a five-inning three-hitter with eight strikeouts as Post 340 rolled to a 10-0 victory over the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics in the first game of a Zone 2 East doubleheader Thursday night at the Independence Athletic Complex.
Post 340 followed with a 4-0 second-game victory.
A seven-run first inning capped by Cody Halterman’s three-run homer made it easier for Johnson, who was coming off an outstanding freshman season at Metropolitan Community College-Longview.
“I figured it would be good,” Johnson said of deciding to play for Post 340. “I wanted to help the team. I’m glad I did it. I liked the way I pitched. I threw hard.”
At Longview, Johnson was 4-1 with nine saves and was named the all-region closer. At Fort Osage, he was named to The Examiner’s All-Area first team his junior and senior years.
Post 340 jumped on A’s starter Spencer Schwandt for seven runs on seven hits, an error and hit batsman in the first inning.
“It felt good,” Halterman said of his home run over the left-center-field fence. “It was my first of the season. I hit one in high school this spring against Raytown South.”
The homer helped the Fort Osage senior-to-be to be regain his hitting confidence.
“I had been in a slump,” he said. “That’s the reason I was batting ninth. I changed a couple of things and feel more relaxed.”
Every Post 340 starter scored a run and all but two had a hit. Brett Graham led the way with two doubles.
Post 340 added three more runs in the second inning.
The game was stopped after 41⁄2 innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
The A’s had been playing well until Thursday night’s first game.
“We stunk the place up,” A’s manager Mike Rooney said. “What more can I say? We take three days off and forget everything. We were not prepared. We have to learn to show up and compete. Johnson threw well. The best thing, it’s over.”
Rooney obviously didn’t like the second game either as his team fell to 14-12 overall and 9-5 in league play.
Joel Frias pitched a four-hitter and Graham singled and doubled in sparking Post 340 (14-14, 9-9).
“Pitching and defense were the keys,” Post 340 manager Mike Kline said of the sweep. “Frias pitched to contact. He did a good job. Johnson worked ahead in the count, kept the ball low and also pitched to contact. He was a nice welcome.”
LEE’S SUMMIT POST 189 PIRATES 4-1, INDEPENDENCE POST 21 0-14: The Lee’s Summit Post 189 Pirates and Independence Post 21 exchanged easy Zone 2 West wins Thursday at the Independence Athletic Complex.
Brandon Schwaller pitched a three-hitter as the Bulldogs prevailed 4-0 in the opener. All of the Bulldogs runs came in the third inning off losing pitcher Will Nesbit.
Dayton Fosse and McKinley Duke powered the Pirates (13-7, 5-5) with two singles each.
Post 21 (15-8, 12-6) erupted for 12 runs in third inning to post a 14-1 victory in the second game. Josh Felz allowed eight hits for the complete-game win.
Post 21 had 11 hits, Zach Zorich and Ian Barker each singled twice, Felz and Jamie Hayes each doubled and Tyler Bodenstab tripled.
“Schwaller was darn tough on us,” Post 21 manager Tom Bush said. “We are a good hitting team and he kept us off balance. It was good to come back in the second game. Felz did a great job.”
Jarred Simmons had two hits to lead the Pirates.
HIGGINSVILLE POST 223 11-2, BLUE SPRINGS POST 499/FIKE 10-6: Behind a complete-game, seven-strikeout performance from Josh Hightower, Fike was able to overcome an 11-10 loss to Higginsville Post 223 in the first game of a Zone 2 East doubleheader and salvage a split with a 6-2 win in game two.
Jordan Oddo’s two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning gave Fike the lead for good in the second game. Hightower (5-0), who gave up two-first inning runs, shut the door on Higginsville after that.
Jeff Smetana had a three-run triple for Fike in the first game, Shay Parra added a two-run double and Sam Morman contributed two hits in the loss.
“When you leave 11 runners on base, your not getting the key hits,” Fike manager Jim Moran said of the game one loss. “We left the bases loaded twice.”
Game two was much better for Fike, which got two hits and two RBIs from Morman and the big blast from Oddo.
With the split, Fike improved to 30-4 overall on the summer and 16-2 in Zone 2 West play
RAYTOWN POST 596 7-7, PARKVILLE POST 318 3-4: Post 596 remained atop the Zone 2 West standings at 12-4 and improved to 18-9 over with the sweep at Raytown South.
Tyler Kobel was the winning pitcher in the first game and Michael Lynch in the second game. Park Hill dropped to 2--6 in the zone.
POST 189 BULLDOGS 11-7, INDEPENDENCE JERRY’S BEARS 0-3: Austin Warren and Taylor LaPlante were the winning pitchers as the Bulldogs swept the Bears in Zone 2 West games Wednesday night at Santa Fe Trail Park.
The Bulldogs are 9-5 in the zone and 13-6 overall and the Bears 3-16 and 1-11.