CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Ste. Genevieve benefited greatly from sending right-hander Nolan Schwent to the mound in a clinching situation for the second straight weekend.
Post 150 advanced to the Junior Legion state level on Saturday with a narrow 1-0 triumph over Jackson Post 158 in the Zone 4 tournament final at Capaha Park.
Schwent followed up a complete game by teammate Kellen Blum on Friday with an efficient three-hitter that included four strikeouts and one walk.
Brady Boyer and Schwent reached base twice offensively for Ste. Genevieve (19-9), which will face an opponent to be determined Thursday at Crysler Stadium in Independence, Mo.
Both clubs were rarely rewarded for making solid contact, thanks to a showcase of brilliant defensive plays on the warm collegiate turf.
Post 150 broke a scoreless drought in the bottom of the fifth inning when a long sacrifice fly by Blum provided Grant Staffen with plenty of time to sprint home.
Schwent, who fanned nine in a district championship victory over Festus last weekend, protected the fragile lead by cruising through the final two frames and retiring 14 of his final 15 batters.
Jackson (26-9) sought to avenge a 6-3 loss from earlier in the tournament, but could not capitalize on six strong innings from pitcher Jordan Barker.
Left fielder and leadoff man Bryce Vincent finished 2-for-3, and made two sensational diving grabs near the line to deny Chad Donze and Aaron Doza of potential extra bases.
Post 158 generated two base runners in the second and third frames, but Staffen ranged into shallow center to catch pop flies and diminish both threats.
Vincent lined a two-out single in the fifth, but Donze leaped at first base to corral a high throw and landed on the bag just before absorbing contact with ensuing batter Seth Essner.
Ste. Genevieve wasted its own quality scoring chances early on, including a double from catcher Brian Selby in the first inning and singles by Boyer and Schwent in the third.
Aggression on the base paths nearly worked in the fourth after Chase Koller singled with one out and could not advance because of a lunging stab by Boone Gartman at third.
Doza sliced an opposite-field single to right, and Koller moved corner to corner as the incoming throw bounded toward the Jackson dugout.
A quick recovery resulted in Koller being tagged out at home, however, after…