It’s been an up-and-down start to the 2013 American Legion baseball season for the Albion Cornerstone Legion Seniors.
Lately, they’ve rediscovered the ‘up.’
After opening the campaign with four consecutive victories, then losing four games in a row, Cornerstone reversed direction once again last week, improving its record to 7-4 with three straight wins.
Major league baseball teams have pitchers they like to call “stoppers.” They are the guys teams look to to “stop” tough times and losing streaks.
Pierce Koch played the role of “stopper” to perfection for Albion Cornerstone Tuesday, June 11, as he blanked visiting Seward 4-0 on 93 economical pitches.
The victory at Leon Nelson Memorial Field halted a four-game losing skid for the Albion Seniors and boosted Cornerstone back over .500.
Seward’s only major threat against Koch came in the third as the visitors loaded the bases with a single, fielder’s choice and walk. Albion third baseman Brett Temme then fielded a grounder and threw out Seward’s Hain at the plate and Koch induced a pop fly for the third out of the inning.
Albion Cornerstone continued its success Wednesday at David City behind another solid pitching performance and an eight-hit attack that produced the Seniors’ highest run total since a May 30 victory over Norfolk.
Cornerstone jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first two innings, more than enough support for Hedlund, who allowed David City only a single earned run in the fourth inning of the 9-1 win.
Cornerstone’s theme for the week continued Sunday as the Albion Seniors rode a strong mound effort by Koziol to a 4-1 victory over visiting York at Leon Nelson Memorial Field.
Following the leads of Koch and Hedlund, Koziol worked around five hits, surrenduring just one run in the third inning when York lead-off batter Jared Miller singled, stole second base and came home on Tyler Brown’s base hit.
Albion more than answered that score, however, plating all four of its runs in the bottom of the frame.
Hedlund led off with a double to deep left-center field and Justin Ramussen was hit by a pitch. Hedlund scored on a Parker Struebing single and, after advancing on a passed ball, Rasmussen went home on Derek Gentrup’s sacrifice to give Albion the lead.
Luettel reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and scored on a pair of passed balls. Koziol finished off the inning by driving in Temme, who had been hit by a pitch, with a base hit.
That was all Koziol needed to record Cornerstone’s third straight ‘W.’ His final line showed five hits allowed, with just two walks and six strikeouts.
After pulling close in the fifth inning, Sunday’s high blue sky caved in on the Albion Cornerstone Legion Juniors.
Visiting York scored 10 runs in the final two frames to defeat the Juniors 15-9 at Leon Nelson Memorial Field at the Albion Sports Complex and drop Cornerstone’s 2013 record to 2-6.
Cornerstone came to life in the bottom of the fifth, cutting York’s lead to 5-3. York answered with three runs in the sixth with the aid of two more batters hit by pitches, a walk and a passed ball. Henry relieved Albion starter Colton Pelster and Cornerstone got out of the inning when second baseman Joel Meyer caught a shallow fly ball, then fired home to double-up a runner attempting to score from third.
Zac Glidden singled and scored on a base hit by Zoucha in the bottom of the frame, but a disastrous seventh inning squelched any Albion hopes of a rally.
The visitors sent 11 batters to the plate and used three batters hit by pitch, a walk, an Albion error and two doubles to add seven runs.
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