EAST MOLINE — A little more than two days ago, the East Moline Legion baseball team threw up a roadblock to Milan's Leo Brunner Invitational title bid.
Meeting early Tuesday evening at United Township High School some 48 hours after Post 227's seven-run Brunner victory, Milan was able to turn the tables by erupting for 14 runs in its last three at-bats, rolling to a 17-3, six-inning victory.
"I thought we had a better approach at the plate coming out; we were looking for balls up the middle we could hit and laying off balls outside of the zone," said Post 569 coach Nick Basala, whose 21-6 club closes the regular season with a Saturday afternoon doubleheader at Danville.
"I think we were also a little more relaxed, with nothing on the line. I think it was a little more of that."
After Milan had jumped ahead with three first-inning runs, aided by a pair of walks and two wild pitches, East Moline (9-9) responded in its half of the first when a Lucas DeLaere groundout scored Zach Markin.
Two innings later, Post 227 evened the score at 3-3 when a two-out triple by Kaden Holesinger scored Daniel Ruiz, followed by a Jake Reusch wild pitch that enabled Holesinger to score the tying run.
Making his first appearance on the mound since having his wisdom teeth removed last Friday, Reusch (4-1) held the line after that. In five innings, he allowed two hits and two walks and struck out five.
"I had to have 72 hours with no physical activity," he said. "It was maybe a bit early, but I came out and I felt good throwing my warm-ups. I hadn't thrown for a week and a half, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Once I got on the mound, it took an inning or two to get used to it and back in shape."
Reusch's teammates did not wait long to break the tie, as a one-out, two-run double by Justin Bost ignited a four-run fourth for Post 569 that was capped with a Jaden Dellitt RBI two-bagger.
Lead-off man Bost went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs to lead the Milan attack, with Michael Hinerichsen also driving in three runs. Jacob Kruse and Cade Sharp each added two hits, with Kruse driving in two.
"I felt like we'd be all right after giving up three runs," said Bost. "We knew we'd get them back. Everyone was playing loose, and we hit well from top to bottom."
Milan was not through. After tacking on two more runs in the fifth when Sharp singled and scored on an error and Kale VenHuizen belted an RBI single, it sent 13 batters up in the top of the sixth to score eight times, the key blows being Kruse's two-run double and a two-run Hinerichsen single.
While Milan looks forward to Saturday's twinbill at Danville — a team it saw at last year's Legion State Tournament — Post 227 looks to regain some momentum after having a three-game winning streak snapped.
"We'll get that figured out," said East Moline coach Mike Meyers, whose club hosts Geneseo Thursday, then faces Geneseo and Princeton in a Saturday triangular at Richmond Hill Park.
Rock Island 5, Moline 3: At Moline's Holmgren Field, Rock Island made a 5-0 lead hold up as Khyri White saved the win for Collin Snyder after Post 246 (17-8-1) tried to rally behind Aiden Michna's three-run, sixth-inning home run.
Brendan Hird and Sam Mattecheck paced the Post 200 offense with each notching two hits and two RBIs. Rock Island jumped ahead with two first-inning runs off Moline starter Bryce Luckey, and tacked on throughout.