Albion Juniors advance to Area B5 final round

Catcher Scott KettelerAn old sports adage says, “all you can ask for is a shot.”
The Albion Cornerstone Legion Baseball Juniors earned their shot at the American Legion Area B5 championship and a state tournament berth Monday night with a thrilling 8-7, 9-inning victory over O’Neill at Kernel Field in Central City.
Three teams remained alive in the final round of Area B5 competition Tuesday night. Albion Cornerstone faced Aurora in a 5:30 contest, with the winner taking on Minden for the area championship. That champion qualifies for the Class B Junior Legion State Tournament July 19-23 at Aurora.
In Monday action, setting up Tuesday’s final round, Aurora defeated Minden 11-1, along with Albion’s win over O’Neill.
Albion dropped a 4-3 decision to Minden earlier in the tournament after opening area play with an 8-5 win over Aurora.

Albion Jrs. 8, Aurora 5
Aurora has been a pain in the side for Albion Legion teams in many area tournaments through the years. This time, it was Aurora that felt the hurt.
Albion Cornerstone, after receiving a first-round bye, defeated Aurora 8-5 Saturday, July 12, to advance to the Area B5 winner’s bracket final.

Minden 4, Albion Jrs. 3
Cornerstone pulled within a run of Minden in the sixth inning of Sunday’s winner’s bracket final, but came up dry in the seventh and dropped a 4-3 decision that moved the Albion Juniors to the Area B5 loser’s bracket.
In a tight, well-played contest, Minden was able to strike early, then hold on for the victory that guaranteed a position in the final round of the tournament.

Albion Jrs. 8, O’Neill 7
Cornerstone fought back Monday night in dramatic fashion, remaining alive in the tourney by outscoring O’Neill 3-2 in the ninth inning on an 8-7 victory.
Cornerstone scored all of its runs in two innings, the first five producing a 5-3 lead in the top of the fifth.
The teams battled to the ninth, where Albion was finally one run better. Rasmussen’s leadoff double set up a three-run burst by Cornerstone as Diessner, Ketteler, Kramer and Henry followed with four straight singles. O’Neill took it to the limit in the bottom of the inning, using three walks, a Cornerstone error and a base hit to score twice and load the bases before Kramer got a final strikeout to nail down the win.

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