Post 135 rolls in district Jr. Legion tournament
Much like they did during an 11-1 regular season, Post 135 is rolling through the district Junior Legion tournament.
Behind back-to-back shutouts from Tyler Gustafson and Nick Hussey, as well as a potent offensive attack, Post beat West County 13-0 on Saturday, followed by an 11-0 win over Titusville (Rocky Grove/Oil City) Post 368 on Sunday at Legion Field.
Gustafson allowed just two hits and Hussey three in the 5-inning wins, with Gustafson needing just 45 pitches and striking out a pair without issuing a walk, while Hussey struck out six and walked four.
In the Sunday game against Post 368, Post 135 struck for a lone run in the first inning and then broke the game open with a seven-run third frame.
Micah Passmore got them going early, belting a leadoff triple and scoring on an RBI single off the bat of Ryan Rafalski. After a quick 1-2-3 second, Post 135 erupted in the third.
Ben Berdine singled to open the frame, followed by walks to Hunter Loomis and Passmore, loading the bases for Rafalski, who laced a 2-run single to left. That was just the beginning, as Post 135 sent 13 men to the plate. Mitch Grosch followed with an RBI single and after an RBI groudout by James Swanson followed by a fly ball off the bat of Nick Hussey that wasn’t fielded cleanly, the scored was 6-0.
With one out, Ryan Arnold singled, Tyler Gustafson and Berdine walked and Hussey scored on a wild pitch. Loomis followed with his second walk of the inning, this one with the bases loaded to bring in the final run of the frame. When the dust settled, the score was 8-0.
That was more than enough for Hussey, who set Post 368 down in order in the second and third innings, recording four of his six strikeouts in that span. He faced his first jam in the fourth with runners on first and second and one out, but his sixth and final strikeout, coupled with his catcher Loomis throwing out a runner trying to advance to third ended the threat.
In the top half of the fourth (Post 135 was the away team on the scoreboard), Post 135 extended its lead to 10-0. Grosch walked and scored on an RBI double down the first base line by Ethan Wilson, who later came around to score on a wild pitch.
Post 135 tacked on one more in the fifth, as Grosch’s RBI single brought in Rafalski.
Post 368 loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the inning, but a Gustafson to Rafalski to Passmore 4-6-3 double play preserved the 11-run lead and ended the game.
Rafalski and Grosch led a balanced offensive attack, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored and 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored respectively.
Post 135 will face Millcreek, a winner over Saegertown, in the winners bracket final today at Legion Field at 6 p.m. The winner will automatically advance to the Western PA Regional tournament, with the top two teams moving on.
Post 135 107 21 – 11
Post 368 000 00 – 0
2B – Wilson (P) ; 3B – Passmore (P); WP – Hussey; LP – Obert
– – –
Post 135 13, West County 0
A big inning and strong pitching was the recipe for success in Saturday’s win as well. In this case, it was two big innings as they scored six runs in the second and seven more in the fourth, belting eight extra-base hits in the process and 15 total hits.
Back-to-back doubles by Berdine and Loomis got them on the board, with a 2-run double by Rafalski, a run-scoring single off the bat of Grosch and a passed ball accounted for the six runs.
A 2-run single by Arnold in the fourth made it 8-0, followed by a 2-run double off the bat of Berdine, an RBI double by Wilson, a run-scoring triple by Passmore and an RBI single from Rafalski. That made it 13-0 as Post 135 had seven hits in the inning.
Gustafson, meanwhile, was in cruise control. He retired the first 11 batters he faced, with two-out singles in the fourth and fifth innings the only blemishes on an otherwise perfect scorecard.
Rafalski had a strong game, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, making his two-game tournament total to this point 5-for-8 with six RBIs. Arnold went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and runs scored, Berdine 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored and Passmore 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair or runs.
West County 000 00 – 0
Post 135 060 7x – 13
2B – Passmore (P), Rafalski (P), Grosch (P), Berdine (P) 2, Loomis (P), Wilson (P); 3B – Passmore (P); WP – Gustafson; LP – Barrett