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Albion Ponies Are Quad County Champs

Culminating one of the most successful local Pony League baseball seasons in many years, Albion won the Quad County League Tournament championship July 10-13 at Neligh.
The Albion Ponies defeated Norfolk twice to earn the tourney title, giving them three victories over the perennial league power this summer.
Albion finished the 2009 season with a sterling 15-1 overall record, losing only to Petersburg in its regular-season finale.
The Albion Ponies opened the 2009 Quad County tournament with a 6-1 victory over Orchard. Albion jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first with runs by Cal Koziol, Tanner Mazour and Tyler Hedlund on RBI hits by Logan Olson and Jay Kennedy. The Ponies built a 6-0 advantage on runs by Mazour and Hedlund in the third and Olson in the fourth and allowed Orchard only a single run in the sixth with a strong combined pitching performance by Derek Gentrup, Hedlund and Koziol.
Gentrup, Hedlund and Mazour then led a 5-1 win over Creighton with more excellent mound work, Hedlund hurling the middle four innings. Albion got the only runs it would need early, Mazour scoring in the first and Skyler Weber and Gentrup coming home on RBI hits by Hunter Henry and Koziol in the second.
Albion then edged Norfolk 5-3 in the winner’s bracket final to advance to the championship round.
Kennedy tripled to open the second inning and scored on Gentrup’s double. Albion took a 2-0 lead with Gentrup coming home on a base hit by Justin Bounds. The local Ponies boosted their edge to 5-1 in the third, Gentrup rapping a key two-run double.
Norfolk scored a single run in the fourth and added one in the sixth before Koziol slammed the door to earn the save. Mazour got the victory, allowing one run over 4 2/3 innings.
Norfolk earned another shot with a victory over Petersburg in the loser’s bracket final elimination game and Albion then claimed the championship with a 3-2 thriller decided in the final inning.
In a tight battle featuring a pitching duel between Koziol and Norfolk’s Michael Obermiller, Norfolk took a 1-0 lead with a first-inning run. Albion knotted the score when Henry drove home Gentrup in the second, then edged ahead in the third as Hedlund scored on an RBI hit by Gentrup.
Norfolk pulled even in the fourth and the game remained tied through the bottom of the sixth where Bounds led off with a walk and scored the game winner on a bases-loaded walk by Justin Rasmussen.