Warren Post 135 was unable to overcome two error-filled innings and fell to Corry Northwest Savings Bank, 12-9, in the deciding game of the Senior American Legion Baseball League Championship Series Tuesday at Old Legion Field.
The victory ended Post 135's season and delivers Corry its second consecutive league championship.
After allowing a run in the top of the first, Post 135 battled back to tie things in the bottom of the inning. Michael Monroe led off the game with a double and moved to third on a Tanner Stanz single. Matt Jaskolka's sacrifice fly brought Monroe home to tie the game at 1-1.
Times Observer photo by Jonathan McAfoos
Warren Post 135 starting pitcher Tristan Rushia delivers a pitch to a Corry Northwest Savings Bank batter during Game 3 of the Senior American Legion Baseball League Championship Series Tuesday at Old Legion Field. Rushia had a strong start, pitching four solid innings in a no decision. Corry won the game — and league title — by a 12-9 count
Corry regained the lead in the third on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt, but Warren again answered back, this time with four runs.
Ryan Gustafson led off the third with a single and stole second before Monroe walked. Stanz reached on an error in which two runs scored, giving Post a 3-2 lead. Hank Morrison brought Stanz in with a double and later raced home on a groundout from Dan Maeder.
With few pitchers eligible to pitch after Sunday's 11-inning game, Tristan Rushia started for Post, having pitched only one inning prior this season. Rushia pitched well, going four innings while striking out two and was in line for the win until a poor defensive inning by Warren in the fifth.
Corry Bank 101 040 060 - 12 15
Warren Post 135 104 001 210 - 9 11
2b-Michael Monroe (W), Hank Morrison (W). 3b-Matt Jaskolka (W). WP-Will Gerould. LP-Monroe.
Post 135 committed three errors in the frame, allowing Corry to score four runs and take a 6-5 lead. The damage could've been worse but Gustafson cut down a runner at the plate with a laser throw from center field.
In the sixth, Warren made two nice defensive plays to keep Corry at six runs. Catcher Todd Fasenmeyer threw out a runner trying to steal second and Jake Retterer - now pitching in relief of Rushia -recovered from stumbling while going for a groundball to throw out a runner at home.
Warren tied the game in the bottom of the sixth and added two more in the seventh to again take the lead. In the sixth, Fasenmeyer singled and later came home when Gustafson reached on an error. In the seventh, Jaskolka tripled in Stanz and came home on a wild pitch to make it 8-6 Warren.
In the eighth inning, Warren's defense again fell short of expectations, allowing Corry to regain a lead it wouldn't relinquish. With two outs in the inning, a costly error on a groundball gave Corry new life and they went on to score six runs before the third out was recorded.
Post 135 got one run back in the eighth on a Jaskolka sacrifice fly, but wouldn't score again.
Monroe was the hard luck loser, giving up six runs - all unearned.
With the win, Corry advances to play in the Region 8 Tournament, beginning next week.