LAFAYETTE – Post 72 followed instructions to the letter in an 8-4 win over Franklin Post 205 in the first game of the American Legion Region 3 tournament.
“We have to hit the ball hard, hit line drives and not hit pop flies,” Byron Cox coach Kyle Proctor said. “We need good pitching and to make plays in the field. When we do that, we can be a pretty good team.”
Four of the 10 hits for Post 72 were doubles, and three of those four hits turned into runs. Five of the team's runs were scored with two outs.
“We hit some gaps,” Proctor noted of his offense, “and we hit some hard line drives with guys on base. We were down twice early in the game and came back. The guys had a great attitude.”
Khayne Stephen (Seeger) led the way with three hits, two for extra bases. He scored twice and drove in one.
Roger Angeles (Frankfort) and John Bromberek (WeBo) each had two hits. They both scored once and drove in a run.
Josh Adams (Fountain Central) had a team-best three RBI while Cole Roach (Southmont) drove in two.
Fellow Mountie Cole Wemer got the start on the mound and went five innings in the heat, allowing four runs while scattering six hits. He walked four and struck out six. He picked up his fifth win of the Legion season. Luke Osborn (North Vermillion) pitched the final two innings, striking out three of the seven hitters he faced.
Franklin scored a run in the first and two in the third, sandwiching a Post 72 run, to take two early leads. They would score only one more run, that coming in the fifth.
Post 72's first run in the second came when Stephen doubled and scored on a Josh Adams (FC) infield out.
Bromberek and Stephen doubled in the fourth and Johnathan Moore (Lebanon) walked. Stephen drove in Bromberek and Adams drove in the other two with his own two-bagger.
Bromberek drove in Christian Lopez (Frankfort) in the fifth with a single. In the sixth, Angeles drove in Casey Henry (Lebanon) and Roach drove in Owen Gregg (North Montgomery) and Angeles with a single.
The win sends Post 72 into the second round of the double-elimination tourney Saturday at noon against the winner of the Lafayette and Danville (IN) game. A win Saturday is the easy route to the championship game Sunday. A loss means a second game Saturday in the losers bracket and having to win two more on Sunday.
AMERICAN LEGION REGION 3
BYRON COX POST 72 8, FRANKLIN POST 205 4
Post 72 0 1 0 3 1 3 0 - 8 10 1
Franklin 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 - 4 6 0
Hits: Post 72 (Stephen 3, Angeles 2, Bromberek 2, Roach, Adams, Henry); Franklin (Ross 3, Hartsell, Gruss, Bauman).
2B: Post 72 (Stephen 2, Bromberek, Adams).
Runs: Post 72 (Stephen 2, Bromberek, Moore, Lopez, Henry, Gregg, Angeles); Franklin (Hartsell 2, Bauman, Gruss).
RBI: Post 72 (Adams 3, Roach 2, Angeles, Bromberek, Stephen); Franklin (Scott 2, Ross, Davis).
Post 72: (Wemer W 5IP 6H 4R 4ER 4BB 6K, Osborn 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 3K); Franklin: (Ross L 5IP 7H 5R 5ER 3BB 3K, DAVIS 2IP 3H 3R 3ER 2BB 2K).
LAFAYETTE – Post 72 came from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Lafayette Post 11 and advance to the American Legion Region 3 championship round on Sunday with a 4-3 win Saturday.
In fact, it was 3-0 after the first inning, as Lafayette posted a three-spot.
But that three was all that Post 72 pitcher Christian Lopez (Frankfort) would allow through six innings, as the Byron Cox sponsored team got three of their own in the third and the winning run in the fourth to post the win, the second of the tournament and the second over Lafayette this season. The win is also the eighth straight for Post 72.
“This team has guts and resiliency,” head coach Kyle Proctor said. “We had a horrible first inning but we shut them down and got our four. I'm really proud of the guys.”
Lopez, who picked up his fifth win of the Legion season in five appearances, got roughed up by Lafayette hitters in the first inning. Post 11 scored three runs on three hits, and a two-error play made two of the runs unearned.
“Christian can be a slow starter, but not quite that slow,” Proctor noted of the Marian College bound hurler. “He just shut Lafayette down after that first inning. His breaking ball was really working well and we made the plays behind him.”
Lopez threw 102 pitches in the 108 degree weather, and was forced off the mound by pitch count rules. “He was ready to go in the seventh,” Proctor said. “He wasn't happy about coming out.”
Lopez finished with eight strikeouts and three walks while allowing five hits (only two in the last five innings).
Luke Osborn (North Vermillion) came in to pitch the seventh and preserve the one-run lead. The lanky right hander got a ground out, walked one, got a fly out and then walked two to fill the bases and put all the fans on their feet in the bottom of the seventh.
Adam Dienhart (Central Catholic) hit a rope that Post 72 shortstop Roger Angeles (Frankfort) snared to end the game.
The offense got started from the start of the game, but didn't get any runs to show for it until the third.
With bases loaded and one out in the top of the first, a double play killed the Post 72 threat. A runner was stranded at third in the second.
After a leadoff out, Cole Roach (Southmont) beat out an infield single and Lopez walked. John Bromberek (WeBo) stroked a double to the right field fence, scoring Roach. Khayne Stephen (Seeger) was hit by a pitch and Johnathan Moore (Lebanon) drove in Lopez with a single to right field. Casey Henry plated Bromberek with a sacrifice fly to right.
“We put the ball in play, which is exactly what we need to do,” Proctor noted. “We got some key hits and two sacrifice flies. You can't ask for more than that, especially against a team as good as Lafayette.”
The winning run came in the fourth when Cole Wemer (Southmont, who picked up the pitching win Friday against Franklin) reached on an error and moved to third when Angeles perfect sacrifice bunt turned into a base hit.
Roach drove in his high school teammate with a sacrifice fly to right, and Post 72 had its first lead of the game.
Jake Marin (Central Catholic and Marian College) threw the first six innings for Post 11 and picked up the loss. He allowed five hits, walked four and struck our six. James Ham (Harrison) threw the seventh inning for Post 11.
The win for Post 72 sends them into the championship round Sunday, and more importantly, keeps them out of the losers bracket.
A single win Sunday will advance them to the state tournament in Terre Haute next weekend.
Either Lafayette, Danville (IN) or Franklin will come through the brutal heat of the losers bracket Saturday afternoon and evening to play Post 72 and will have to beat them twice to win the tournament.
AMERICAN LEGION REGION 3
POST 72 4, LAFAYETTE POST 1
Post 72 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 - 4 5 3
Lafayette 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 3 5 3
Hits: Post 72 (Henry, Roach, Bromberek, Moore, Angeles); Lafayette (Williams, All, McCoy, Lovell, Deinhart).
Runs: Post 72 (Roach, Lopez, Bromberek, Wemer); Lafayette (Williams, All, McCoy).
RBI: Post 72 (Bromberek, Moore, Henry, Roach); Lafayette (McCoy).
Pitching: Post 72 (Lopez W 6IP 5 H 3R 1ER 3BB 8K, Osborn S 1IP 0H 0R 3BB 0K); Lafayette (Marin 6IP 5H 4R 3ER 4BB 6K, Ham 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K).
Post 72 will play in the championship on Sunday at 12 p.m. at Central Catholic with a trip to the state finals on the line. Read a full report in Monday's Journal Review.