The Randolph County Post 45 baseball team went into its final game of pool play Sunday night needing a miracle to advance to the semifinals of the American Legion World Series.
Coach Ronnie Pugh’s team didn’t pull a rabbit out of its hat. But it did salvage its week in Shelby by pulling out a 10-6 victory against Las Vegas, Nev. Post 40 in a rain-delayed finale at Keeter Stadium.
The win was Post 45’s first in three games at the tournament, leaving it tied with Las Vegas and Meridian, Idaho Post 113 with a 1-2 record. Las Vegas advanced to the semifinals on the strength of allowing the fewest runs of the three teams.
Randolph County would have needed to win Sunday’s head-to-head matchup by 11 runs to make it to the knockout round.
That didn’t happen, but after a 6-4 loss to Idaho earlier in the day, Post 45 at least was able to finish its run at the World Series on a high note.
It did so by using a formula that worked against it in its first two games.
The big inning.
Trailing by three with two out and nobody on in the fifth, Post 45 took advantage of four straight walks to score five times and take the lead. Trevor Marsh got the rally started with a double down the first line. After a wild pitch and an Austin Curry walk, Spencer Lanier followed with an RBI single that cut the Las Vegas lead to 6-4.
Braxton Davis followed with a walk to lead the bases, then Blake Marsh drew a walk to score Curry. After a Las Vegas pitching change. Tristan Marsh, Dawson Painter and Bryce Marsh also earned free passes that scored runs.
Randolph County added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh on a Blake Marsh ground out and a Curry double. Trevor Marsh picked up the win on the mound with three innings of scoreless relief.
The game was delayed for nearly two hours in the bottom of the first by rain and lightning and didn’t finish until after midnight. It capped a long day that started at 10 a.m. with Post 45 completing a game suspended from Saturday night.
Randolph County trailed 5-3 in the top of the sixth when play resumed, but despite an RBI double by Bryce Marsh, wasn’t able to complete the comeback.
Idaho jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the game on the strength of a four-run third inning. Post 45 was also done by a four-run inning in its opening loss to Midland, Mich. Post 165.
Midland won the pool with a 3-0 record and will play Gonzales, La. Post 81 in one semifinal. Las Vegas will take on Wilmington, Del. Post 1 in the other semi, with the winners playing Tuesday for the national championship.