ALWS Game 10: Danville comes from behind to advance to Monday’s semifinal
In a must-win game for both teams, Danville American Legion Post 210 rallied from a late deficit to defeat Festus, Mo., Post 253, 7-5, to advance to the semifinal of the American Legion World Series as the runner-up in the Stripes division.
Both teams threatened in the first inning. Danville got a walk and a single but Jordan Duncan got out of trouble with a double play on a ground ball up the middle. Festus got two on the same way in the bottom of the frame with one out, but Danville’s Chase Vinson threw six straight strikes to get out of the jam.
[In the photo, Logan Spicer of Post 210 celebrates Danville’s victory in Sunday’s American Legion World Series game in Shelby, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Ryan Young/The American Legion.]
In the top of the third, Duncan caught a bunt attempt and wheeled and threw to first for a double play to end a threat.
Vinson got out of trouble again in the third, striking out back-to-back batters again, stranding a runner at second.
The top of the fourth started with a great diving catch in center by JB Bridges, charging in to make the grab.
Festus plated three in the fourth to open the scoring. Eddie Martin led off with a double and went to third on a Chuck Pratt single. Back-to-back walks brought home Martin and a wild pitch and sacrifice fly brought home two more.
The Missouri team’s defense continued in the fifth when Jake Leitner made another diving catch in right field.
Festus nearly added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth, putting runners on first and third but Dalton Dalbey on in relief got a groundout to third. Logan Spicer knocked the ball down and made the long throw, barely beating Pratt’s dive into first base.
Danville quickly got back into the game in the sixth. Ernest Plummer walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Chase Rademacher followed with a double on a 1-0 count scoring Plummer. After Vinson dropped a first-pitch single into shallow center, Logan Spicer lined a single into right-center to bring around Rademacher and send Vinson to third.Lucas Hofer skied the first pitch he saw into shallow center and it fell into the Bermuda Triangle and, while the runner at second was forced out, the tying run scored on the play.
[In the photo Ernest Plummer of the Post 210 Speakers from Danville chest bumps a batboy as they celebrate Sunday’s victory in game 10 of the American Legion World Series. Note: You can click on the photos to enlarge them. The photo is courtesy of Ryan Young/The American Legion].
Festus put two on the sixth, but couldn’t capitalize and Danville made them pay the next inning by sending ten batters to the plate in the top of the seventh. Danville’s Dalton Dalbey lined a single a middle to lead off, moved to second on a passed ball and went to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Ernest Plummer chopped an 0-1 pitch over the drawn in infield to give Illinois its first lead. Plummer stole second and Kotah Broeker rapped a single hard down the first base line to bring him home. The margin was extended to 7-3 when Rademacher, Vinson and Hofer all singled to bring home two more runs.
Festus didn’t go quietly, however. Colby Ott walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh and Jake Leitner poked one down the left field line, all the way to the wall, for an RBI double.
With the tying run in the on deck circle, Rademacher came on in relief and got a strikeout, but Pratt dropped a check-swing single over the heads of the right side of the infield to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. After a strikeout, the lead shrunk to two on a wild pitch, but it was not enough for a Festus miracle, as Rademacher got a ground-out to close the door on his save and send Danville’s American Legion Speakers into the national semifinal.
“It felt good to play well since I’ve been struggling so far in the regional and World Series but it was an overall team effort,” Rademacher said. “We all played well as a team.”
Louisiana, the pool winner, will play at 4 p.m., Monday against the runner-up from the Stripes division. Danville as the runner-up will face the Stripes winner at 6 p.m. (local time) Both games are on ESPNU.
“It’s awesome,” Rademacher said. “There are over 3,000 teams that started the year and to be one of the last four standing feels really good.”
For Festus, the season ends as a historic one. Post 253 became the first team from Missouri to make the American Legion World Series since 2009.
[In the top photo Trevor Davis of Danville Post 210 has a laugh with Chase Wayne Rademacher of Post 210 during a mound visit in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game in Shelby, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Ryan Young/The American Legion].