Numbers four and five made Albion Cornerstone #1.
Albion completed a five-game win streak through the loser’s bracket of the American Legion C5 Senior Area Tournament at Osceola July 26 with consecutive victories over top-seeded David City in the event’s championship-round games.
The wins not only gave Albion the C5 Area championship, but propelled Cornerstone into the Nebraska American Legion Class C State Tournament at Ainsworth.
It took quite a hot streak for Albion Cornerstone to rebound from a 10-3 loss to St. Paul in the first round of C5 Area play. The Albion Seniors began rolling by battering Shelby-Osceola-Stromsburg (16-6) and Twin River (10-0), then topped Sutton 6-3 to earn the shot at tourney unbeaten David City in the final.
With that shot, Cornerstone fashioned a dramatic tournament conclusion Tuesday night.
Albion 5, David City 3
With no room for error – or errors – Albion Cornerstone actually spotted David City an early 3-0 lead, then fought back like champions to stay alive with a 5-3, nine-inning victory.
The teams battled to a 3-3 tie through eight innings before David City cracked. Caden Ranslem delivered a one-out single for Albion in the ninth and Valasek reached on a David City error. David City then committed another costly error with two out, allowing Keaton Henry to reach base and both Cornerstone runners to score.
David City tried to match Albion, loading the bases with two walks, a fielder’s choice and a single before Dylan Gentrup relieved Valasek and fanned Ben Danielsen to seal the win and force a second and final championship contest.
Albion 13, David City 6
With the hearts of Albion fans still fluttering, Cornerstone hitters collaborated for three big innings in the deciding game, relieving some of the suspense, and ultimately notching a 13-6 win and the tourney title.
After David City trimmed an early 6-0 Albion lead to 6-4 in the fourth inning, Kramer came on in relief and gave up just a pair of runs in the sixth, while David City hurlers wilted.
Albion Cornerstone used a run-scoring error in the fifth to regain momentum, then parlayed a single, walk, hit batter and two costly David City errors into four runs and an 11-4 lead in the sixth.
After David City’s two runs in the bottom of the sixth, Albion matched in the seventh with Derek Stuhr’s two-run double. Kramer then mowed down David City batters 1-2-3 in the seventh.
Game. Set. Match.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News