With the 2013 American Legion baseball season hitting the homestretch, the Albion Cornerstone Legion Juniors seem to be hitting their stride.
After nipping O’Neill June 26, Albion Cornerstone won three of four games in the competitive Central City Tournament June 28-30.
Albion hosted DCB Tuesday and will finish its regular-season schedule next week before opening district tournament play at Wayne July 12.
Albion Cornerstone edged visiting O’Neill 9-8 with aggressive baserunning and a miscue by the visitors in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday, June 26.
O’Neill tied the game on Tony Castro’s two-run double in the sixth, setting up the dramatic finish in the bottom of the frame. Albion’s Travis Kennedy walked, stole second base, advanced to third on Henry’s groundout, and raced home on an O’Neill overthrow.
With momentum from Wednesday, Albion Cornerstone won another thriller to open the Central City Tournament Friday, June 28.
Albion took a big lead with a nine-run second inning, then held off a final rally attempt to edge Shelton/Gibbon 10-8.
Cornerstone maintained a 10-6 lead and recorded outs on the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth inning before Shelton/Gibbon used a single, walk, three stolen bases and an Albion overthrow to score two runs and put a runner at third base. Henry was able to coax a ground ball to Zoucha at third base to secure the Cornerstone victory.
Cornerstone began play Saturday with a solid 5-2 win over York.
Albion used a quick start to take a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Jackson Meyer led off with a single and Scott Ketteler was hit by a pitch. After the pair stole second and third bases, Colton Pelster opened scoring with an RBI base hit. Kennedy tripled home two more and Zoucha came through with a two-out single.
Grand Island 5 Points used a pair of big innings to hand Albion Cornerstone its only loss in Central City later Saturday. G.I. took a 6-2 lead with a five-run second inning and capped a 15-2 win by scoring six in the fifth.
Albion Cornerstone’s tournament ended on a high note Sunday, as the Juniors came through in the clutch once again and scored an exciting 9-8 victory over host Central City.
Central City put runners on second and third with a walk, bunt and passed ball and Ryan Malasek doubled to pull the hosts within two runs.
Malasek scored on Matt Gilg’s single before Cornerstone reliever Kennedy, who had fanned batters before and after Malasek and walked Ross Wagner prior to Gilg’s base hit, retired CJ Marker on a ground ball to second base.
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