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Frustrating best way to describe season for Crestwood Post 777


By STEPHEN GLOVER

For the Call

Frustrating probably is the best way to describe the Crestwood American Legion baseball team's 2003 season.

"We're just not hitting the ball right now," Head Coach Roy Tippett told the Call. "The fact that we've been off the past couple of days has hurt us as far as our bats go."

Crestwood (10-13, 7-10 District 10) found itself on the receiving end of a 10-2 thumping on Tuesday of last week. Post 777's bats were silent for a majority of the game with the exception of a two-run outburst in the second inning.

"Eureka's pitcher did a really good job and just threw strikes," Tippett said. "We were just pounding the ground at the plate and their defense did a great job."

Mark Spinner, who started on the mound for Post 777, went five innings and gave up two earned runs on seven hits. He also walked four batters while striking out five in the loss.

Despite the loss, Tippett still was upbeat about his pitcher's performance.

"Mark didn't throw bad at all," Tippett said. "He was a little rusty, but he really kept us into the game."

Outfielder Adam Laury was 2-3 at the plate and drove in one of two runs in the second inning for Post 777. Laury has been one of Crestwood's strongest hitting threats this season with a .323 batting average in which he was second on the team in doubles (6) and third in runs batted in (17).

"Adam's been pretty consistent for us at the plate," Tippett said. "He's had some arm problems but has swung the bat really well for us as a designated hitter."

Crestwood's woes continued later in the week as it suffered a 7-0 pounding by Creve Coeur on Saturday afternoon. The loss was the third time this season that Post 777 suffered a shutout.

"I think that our lack of focus is really beginning to hurt us," Tippett said. "Hopefully, we can pick things up for districts."

Starting pitcher Tom Kammerer went 51/3 innings as he yielded five earned runs on 10 hits and four strikeouts in the losing effort. Kammerer has been one of Crestwood's more successful starting pitchers this season with a 3-1 record overall and a 4.63 earned run average.

Not only did he lead the team in wins this season with three victories, he also leads the team in strikeouts (26) and opponent's batting average (.280).

"Tom actually pitched very well," Tippett said. "He got into trouble in the sixth, but for the most part, he stayed ahead in the count. I really don't have any complaints about his performance on the mound."

The district tournament is now under way and Tippett hopes that he and his troops can salvage the season and hopefully end the 2003 campaign on a strong note.

"District is going to be tough," Tippett said. "We've been up and down all year long. I think that us winning that first game in districts will mean everything for us."

Crestwood's first round opponent was to be determined after the Call went to press this week.

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