Never say die.
When you’ve already battled back five times from potential elimination to win an area championship, that’s no problem.
Albion Cornerstone, which had lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to host Elkhorn Mt. Michael Saturday, once again showed its moxie Sunday, scoring the winning run in a 7-6 thriller vs. Gering in the bottom of the seventh inning and staying alive in the 2013 Class B American Legion Juniors Tournament.
Just another ho-hum day for the comeback kids.
Albion 7, Gering 6
Needing a victory to continue its season, Albion Cornerstone rallied from a one-run deficit against Gering, saw a two-run lead slip away in the top of the seventh, then plated a dramtic game-winner in the bottom of the inning.
Esai Hernandez led off the top of the seventh with a double for Gering and stole third base. Austin Hoffman was hit by a pitch and advanced on the steal, putting the tieing run in scoring position. Pelster fanned Trace Fulk and then got the apparent final out by striking out Brent Barge. The swinging strike eluded Ketteler, however, and Hernandez came home as Barge raced safely to first base. Barge was then caught in a rundown on a tepid steal attempt and Hoffman slipped home to score the tieing run.
Not to be outdone, Albion rallied in the bottom of the inning with its own heads-up base-running.
Henry reached on a one-out error and advanced on Zoucha’s base hit. Gering reliever Conner Pickett struck out Rasmussen for the second out, but Kramer came through with a clutch single and, when Gering mishandled the play, Henry raced all the way home with the game-winner.
Mt. Michael 2, Albion 1
Albion Cornerstone’s state tournament experience got off to an excruciating start Saturday night with a 2-1 loss to host Elkhorn Mt. Michael.
It was a contest of both teams failing to take advantage of numerous opportunities. Albion stranded 10 runners in the game and Mt. Michael left eight on base.
The hosts finally broke through in the sixth, plating two runs on a pair of singles, a sacrifice and an Albion overthrow error.
Cornerstone made a valiant rally attempt in the seventh. Rasmussen and Kramer led off with consecutive singles and, when Meyer singled to center field, Rasmussen attempted to score from second. Mt. Michael’s Alex Miklas made a perfect throw home to nail Rasmussen, however, and Elkhorn reliever Eric Sullivan got the final two outs on a strikeout and pop fly.
Cozad 11, Albion 7
One disastrous inning.
A 10-run fourth inning by the Cozad Reds Monday was pretty much all that stood in the way of Albion Cornerstone continuing play in the Class B American Legion Juniors State Tournament at Elkhorn Mt. Michael.
As it was, the outburst propelled the western Nebraska squad to an 11-7 victory and ended a wondrous season for Albion, in which the Cornerstone Juniors rebounded from a 3-6 start to play three rounds in the state tourney.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News.