Aug. 2—TRENTON — All summer long, the Post 210 Junior Speakers have been working towards a goal of being the back-to-back state champions.
On Sunday afternoon at Schumacher Park in Trenton, the Junior Speakers only needed one victory in two possible championship games to earn that honor.
So when coach Steve Waller saw his team fall behind 4-0 in the first game on Sunday, he wasn't worried.
"I knew we still had plenty of time to come back and being the home team, I knew that we would get the last chance to score," he said. "We have had a really good summer and these young men have found ways in the past to come back and get a victory."
Once again, the Post 210 junior squad found a way to come back and when Pedro 'Par-4' Rangel scored from third base on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh, it gave the Junior Speakers a 6-5 win over Trenton.
Rangel is one of eight players on this year's Junior Speakers roster that was also on the state championship team a year ago.
Grant Morgan, another returner, got the rally started in the seventh with a single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored as Rangel laid down a perfect bunt that was thrown away by Trenton's losing pitcher Payten Mugele.
Rangel stole third to put himself in position to score the winning run.
"Our aggressiveness on the base paths proved to be the difference in the game," Waller said. "We were able to force them into some mistakes."
Winning pitcher Cade Schaumburg, along with Morgan and Braxton Waller each had a pair of hits for the Junior Speakers, while Jameson Remole finished with a team-high two RBIs.
"With the talent we had on our roster this summer, one of the toughest aspects for me was picking the right players to play in each game," Waller said. "That is a problem that every coach hopes to have with their team.
"I can't say enough good things about these young men."
Post 210 advanced into the championship game with a 9-4 victory over Jerseyville on Saturday.
Chaz Dubois led the Junior Speakers with three hits and he also was the winning pitching, going 4.2 innings and allowing only one run on two hits. Schaumburg, Waller and Remole each shared game-high honors with two RBIs each.
The Junior Speakers finish their season at 30-5.