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Home News ALWS Day 4: California, Arkansas & North Carolina advance to semis

ALWS Day 4: California, Arkansas & North Carolina advance to semis

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For five innings, San Mateo, Calif., Post 82 found itself locked in a scoreless game with Cumberland, R.I., Post 86/14. But as they’d done in their previous two American Legion World Series pool play games, the Shockers showed how explosive – and resilient – they can be.

Two doubles and a home run in the sixth inning gave San Mateo a 4-0 lead, and the Shockers made enough big plays down the stretch to hold off Cumberland 5-4. The win gave Post 82 a 3-0 record in pool play and a spot in Monday’s 4 p.m. semifinal game against Rowan County, N.C., Post 342.

It was the fourth game San Mateo has played since learning that former teammate Calvin Riley was murdered. The Shockers have won all four of those games.

“It was a tough loss losing Calvin,” said San Mateo’s Felix Aberouette, who was 2-3 with a run and an RBI, and pitched the final 2.2 innings for the save. “Calvin’s motivating us right now to win this tournament, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

In the top of the sixth, Felix Aberouette led off with a walk. After an out, Kaleb Keelean doubled deep into right field, scoring Aberouette from first. Tyler Brandenburg then doubled to bring in Keelean, and Jordan Brandenburg delivered the ball over the left-field fence for a 4-0 advantage.

Cumberland cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning. Tyler Walsh singled and Trevor Marques singled; an error on the play brought home Walsh. Drew Szafranski then doubled, bringing home Marques.

San Mateo came right back with another run in the seventh. Tyler Villaroman walked, stole second and then came home on Aberouette’s RBI single.

But Post 86/14 wouldn’t go away. In the bottom of the seventh, Ryan Havunen singled and Josh Brodeur walked. After an out, Walsh doubled home Havunen and moved Brodeur to third. A sacrifice fly from Chris Wright scored Brodeur.

A walk and hit batter loaded the bases, but Aberouette got a groundout to first base to end the threat. Cumberland was able to put runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Aberouette got a groundout to end the game.

Alex Waldsmith (2-0) got the win for San Mateo, allowing 10 hits and three earned runs in 6.1 innings. Aberouette allowed one hit over the final 2.2 innings.

Rowan County, N.C., Post 342 12, Kennewick, Wash., Post 34 0, 8 innings. Rowan County controlled its own destiny Sunday afternoon in the final day of American Legion World Series pool play – and completely exercised that control. Post 342 (40-13) led 4-0 after three innings, added three more in the fifth and closed out with a four-run eighth. Rowan County ended pool play 2-1 to advance to Monday’s semifinals against San Mateo, Calif..

Rowan County had won 10 straight games heading into the series but lost a 3-0 lead in its first game in falling to Indiana. The past two games have been a different story.

“It was a hard loss, but it was kind of a wake-up,” said Post 342 right fielder Lee Poteat, who was 2-4 at the plate with three RBIs. “It was just good to get that loss underneath our belt and realize that we do need to play as hard as we can and stay focused in order to win this tournament.”

Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Rowan County in the top of the first, setting up Juan Garcia’s sacrifice fly. Three hit batters set up RBIs from Hunter Shepherd and Poteat in the second, and Tanner File added an RBI single in the third to open up a 4-0 lead.

Shepherd and Poteat had RBIs in the fifth, and Post 342 paired two hits with three walks and a hit batter to score four in the top of the eighth. A scoreless bottom of the inning ended the game because of the 10-run rule.

Trevor Atwood went 3-3 with two runs and an RBI for Post 342, while Shepherd added three RBIs and Jake Pritchard three runs scored.

Shepherd (2-0) coasted through seven innings, allowing just four hits and striking out two. Brandon White pitched a scoreless eighth.

“We don’t have a lot of power,” Post 342 coach Jim Gantt said. “We just base hit. We pitch and play defense and get timely hitting. That’s the key to any good baseball team.”

Kennewick, which got two hits from Dillon Plew, finished 54-17.

Texarkana, Ark., Post 58 7, Leesburg, Va., Post 34 5. Another day, another Arkansas comeback.

For the second straight day, Texarkana fell behind 3-0. And for the second straight game, the Razorbacks rallied. Down 3-0 after the first inning Sunday, Texarkana (40-5) put together big rallies in the second and fourth innings and then held off a late charge by Leesburg and earn a spot in Monday's semifinals against Rockport, Ind.

“I’m just proud of these guys,” said Texarkana manager Dane Peavy, whose team improved to 2-1 in pool play. “They battle tooth and nail for each other and give you everything they’ve got. We knew that we needed to win. And we knew that we had a good team.”

Virginia, which came into the game 0-2 in pool play, stunned Texarkana with three runs in the top of the first inning. Jack Howard reached on a fielder’s choice and Kurtis Meyer walked. Zach Costello followed with an RBI single, scoring Howard and moving Meyer to third.

Meyer came home on an error, which moved Costello to third. Following a walk, Gus Buscavage singled home Costello to give Leesburg a 3-0 lead.

But Texarkana came back two innings later. Nick Myers, Parker Ribble and Beau Burson all singled to start the inning. Burson drove in Myers, Logan Vidrine followed with a walk, and Riley Orr drew a base on balls to score Ribble.

Matt Goodheart’s fielder’s choice brought home Burson. Goodheart then stole second and Vidrine came home on a throwing error on the play, giving Texarkana a 4-3 lead.

Texarkana tacked on two more runs in the fourth. Vidrine reached first on an error, and a throwing error on Orr’s ensuing bunt single scored Vidrine and put Orr on second. Two batters later, Blake Hall brought Orr home with a single.

Will Smith’s RBI single scored Hall in the bottom of the seventh, putting Texarkana up 7-3. Leesburg countered with a run in the top of the eighth, and then loaded the bases in the top of the ninth on two singles and an error.

A hit batter brought Leesburg within 7-5, but Razorback relief pitcher Zac Harrington got a strikeout and groundout to close out the game.

Patrick Flanagan (2-1) got the win, allowing just one earned runs in six innings.

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