With the annual area tournament scheduled to begin Friday at Central City, the Albion Cornerstone Legion Juniors were using the final stretch of the regular-season schedule to establish momentum.
To that end, Albion posted a 2-1 record to open July and had a final pre-tournament contest at Twin Plains Tuesday night.
Cornerstone, 11-7 going into Tuesday’s contest, will receive an opening bye in the area tournament and begins play at Central City Saturday (time to be announced).
Albion Jrs 13, Norfolk 0
Albion Cornerstone dominated Norfolk in a 13-0 victory July 1 behind another solid pitching effort by Keaton Henry.
Not that the five-inning shutout came easily. Henry stranded runners at second and third in the first inning with three strikeouts, left another runner at second the following inning and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth with the help of a game-ending double play.
Cornerstone batters had no trouble scoring when they reached base.
Aurora 8, Albion Jrs 7
Albion Cornerstone met a tougher task at Aurora Thursday and dropped an 8-7 decision when a sixth-inning rally fell just short.
Albion trailed 8-4 entering that sixth frame, which would be the final inning due to time limit. Andrew Rasmussen started the comeback attempt with a single and scored on Ketteler’s base hit after stealing second and third. Ketteler also stole two baes and went home on a single by Henry, who promptly stole second and third and pulled Albion within a run when Joel Meyer reached by error. That put Cornerstone runners at first and second with two out, Tate Zwiebel having walked, but Aurora’s Alex Kobik fielded Derrick Stuhr’s grounder to first and stepped on the bag to snuff out Albion’s final chance.
Albion Jrs 11, York 2
Taking care of business.
Albion Cornerstone notched its 11th win of the summer campaign Sunday with a resounding 11-2 win at York.
The Albion Juniors scored early and often to back a solid mound effort by Noah Valasek. The Cornerstone righthander went the distance, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out three and walking two.
Valasek gave up single runs in the first and fifth frames, but stranded two runners in the first, a runner at third in the second, two more in the fourth and a final two in the sixth to limit damage.
Cornerstone, meanwhile, took advantage of its opportunities. Albion broke a 1-1 tie with two in the third, Kramer and Henry delivering RBI singles. Albion took control with four in the fourth, Ryan Thiem starting the inning with a single, advancing and scoring on three passed balls. Kramer finished the damage with another RBI single.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News