Albion News Copyright
A heartbreaker. A backbreaker.
That was the story for the Albion Cornerstone Legion Juniors in the 2015 American Legion Area 5 district tournament at O’Neill.
Albion Cornerstone dropped a gut-wrenching 4-3 decision to Central City in Friday’s Area 5 opening round, then were blasted 11-1 by host O’Neill in five innings Saturday to be quickly eliminated from the double-elimination event.
Albion and Central City engaged in a taut struggle as the 3rd and 4th seeds Friday, with an Albion rally attempt in the final inning falling short.
Trailing 4-2, Cornerstone left the bases loaded in the fifth and Caden Ranslem was stranded at third after a one-out double in the sixth. Albion had its best opportunity in the seventh. Valasek led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Derek Stuhr then singled to make it 4-3, but was subsequently thrown out trying for third base when Gentrup reached on a Central City error. Reliever Will Wagner then induced two final fly outs to end the contest.
Saturday’s game was not as competitive, as Albion Cornerstone struggled throughout the 11-1 loss.
O’Neill registered seven hits in the contest, but also took advantage of six walks by three Cornerstone pitchers, two additional batters hit-by-pitch, and four Albion errors.
The hosts scored all the runs they would need in a four-run second, getting baserunners on a walk and error, then delivering a double and back-to-back singles.
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