As Dublin (Jerome) American Legion Post 800J manager Tim Kiste watched the District 12 tournament final last Saturday at Thomas Worthington High School, he pondered his team someday playing in the showcase contest.

As Dublin (Jerome) American Legion Post 800J manager Tim Kiste watched the District 12 tournament final last Saturday at Thomas Worthington High School, he pondered his team someday playing in the showcase contest.

Post 800J continued to show progress as it finished 15-16 overall and 10-5 in district play to earn the fifth seed in the tournament.

"You always hope to win every game, but we had 16 kids on the roster and we got a lot of playing time for all of them," Kiste said. "We didn't always just play only the kids we knew that were better. We got everybody a lot of playing time. We played well that way."

Post 800J finished 1-2 in the tournament, capped by 5-2 loss to Scioto Post 800S in a losers bracket game July 21.

"(Post 800S) played well," Kiste said. "Of course, you never like to lose your last game, especially against another Dublin team, but they played well. Both teams played well. They just got the key hits and we didn't get the key hits. That was the difference in that game."

Post 800S was eliminated by Grove City Post 164A 8-2 on July 23.

Post 800J opened the tournament with an 8-6 win over Bexley (Hartley) Post 430 on July 19 and lost to Hilliard (Davidson) Post 614A 13-3 in seven innings July 20.

Worthington Post 239 captured the district title with a 9-5 win over Coffman Post 800C in the final.

Alex Schillig batted .440 and led the team in hits (37), RBI (26) and doubles (11).

"Last year Alex was a freshman and had a little bit of growing pains," Kiste said. "This summer he led the team in basically every offensive category and was always a staple at third base."

Tyler Kiste, the manager's son, led the team in batting at .441 followed by Schillig, Neil Johnson (.397), Rob Phillips (.316), Jason Pollo (.302) and Mike Adolph (.300).

Alex Ring provided a spark for Post 800J as he was successful on 18 of 20 stolen-base attempts and played stellar defense in center field.

"I think he is the best center fielder I've seen in the league," Kiste said. "Any ball hit out in center field he got, so we never had to worry about it. There were a lot of double plays we had from center field because they would hit in the gap and think it was in and they'd go, and he would make the play and throw them out."

Kiste said the versatility of Pollo and Brett Mosher was key.

"Both stepped up to be great leaders for this team and allowed me to do a lot of things based on them being able to play multiple positions," Kiste said.

Johnson led the team with a 5-1 record, 2.16 ERA and 17 strikeouts. Drew Whitson was second on the team in wins with three.

Kiste also pointed to the defense as a strong point.

"Defensively we got a lot better as the season went on," he said. "We got to the end and I think our nemesis was our timely hitting, but the defense played a lot better towards the end. We got a lot better."