The Albion Cornerstone Legion Juniors fought back from an opening-round loss and completed their long run through the loser’s bracket Tuesday night to win the American Legion Class B Area 5 Tournament championship with a pair of victories over host Wayne.
Wayne nipped Albion 4-3 in Friday’s first round, but the Cornerstone Juniors rebounded with consecutive victories over Schuyler, Lakeview and O’Neill to reach the tournament final. Albion culminated its title run by defeating Wayne 7-1 and 14-6 Tuesday night, qualifying for the Class B State Tournament at Elkhorn.
Host Wayne scored late and hung on for a 4-3 victory over Albion Cornerstone in the first round of the Area 5 tournament July 12.
Jake Lutt was the winning pitcher, striking out 11 and limiting Albion to three hits. Micah Sprouls drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Albion Cornerstone began its march back through the Area 5 loser’s bracket Saturday with a dominant 11-1 decision over Schuyler in five innings.
Cornerstone took advantage of a stellar mound performance by Colton Pelster, who held Schuyler hitless and allowed only a single unearned run. Pelster walked four and struck out seven in five innings. He fanned the side in the top of the fifth.
There was a bit more drama Sunday, as Albion took a healthy lead over Lakeview, then held off a determined rally effort by the Columbus team in the final inning to advance with an 8-5 victory.
Jackson Meyer singled and scored in the bottom of the first to stake Albion to a 1-0 lead and the Cornerstone Juniors expanded that advantage to 6-0 in the third.
Even with an 8-2 lead, things got a bit scary for Albion in the top of the seventh.
Despite two strikeouts by Kramer, the Cornerstone starter and reliever Henry hit two batters, walked four and threw two wild pitches as Lakeview closed the margin to 8-5 and had the bases loaded. Pelster came on to secure the final out on a fly ball to center field.
Albion Cornerstone defeated O’Neill 6-1 Monday. No details were available at deadline.
Albion topped Wayne 7-1 and 14-6 Tuesday to win the Area 5 tournament championship.
The Albion News will have additional Area 5 game coverage in the July 24 edition.
Further details in Print & Online editions of the Albion News