The day-after-day grind of postseason baseball often comes down to recovery. Recovery, both physical and mental, from the highs of victories and lows of defeats.
The Albion Cornerstone Legion Seniors may have hit an almost inevitable wall of physical and mental exhaustion Tuesday, Aug. 2, in the American Legion Class C State Tournament at Ainsworth.
After running off five straight victories to win the C5 Area tournament and qualify for state, Cornerstone continued its winning ways in Ainsworth with a pair of triumphs before a seventh-inning collapse against Malcolm turned a 5-3 advantage into a disheartening 8-5 loss.
In need of a victory against Creighton the following day to stay alive and advance to the final round of state play, Cornerstone came up empty in a 10-0 loss to a team it had defeated 3-2 two days earlier.
Credit must go to Creighton pitcher Ryan Neumann, who blanked Cornerstone for six innings and propelled his squad to a Class C championship matchup against Malcolm.
Neumann hit Albion’s Scott Ketteler with a pitch and gave up a single to Kyle Kramer in the first inning and allowed a leadoff single by Derek Stuhr in the second, but Albion Cornerstone’s only real threat came in the fourth when Dylan Gentrup, Joel Meyer and Ty Martinsen reached with base hits. Neumann escaped the bases-loaded jam by collecting his third strikeout of the inning.
That prevented Cornerstone from rallying against a 6-0 deficit at the time and kept momentum on Creighton’s side.
Creighton struck early in the contest against Albion starter Kyle Kramer. Creighton scored its initial run from a combination of a walk, passed ball, wild pitch and Albion error, then plated three additional runs with another walk, a single by Lane Walton, Devin Gieselman’s RBI double and an RBI single by Brady Lortman.
Creighton added two in the second, the key blow an RBI double by Walton, then made it 7-0 after snuffing Albion’s fourth-inning threat with a run off Albion reliever Keaton Henry in the bottom of the frame.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News