It seemed almost inevitable.
Albion Cornerstone was on the verge of winning the American Legion Juniors Area 5 tournament championship in Albion last week and earning a berth in the 2021 Class B state tournament. Cornerstone had improved its season record to 17-2 with three tournament victories, including a 9-3 decision over finals opponent Pierce, and needed just one final win to capture the championship.
The Pierce Blue had other ideas, however.
In a stunning reversal of fortunes Tuesday, July 13, Pierce defeated Cornerstone 7-2 and 10-1 in the double-elimination finals, taking the state tourney bid and ending the Albion Juniors’ campaign.
Pierce 7, Albion Juniors 2
Albion Cornerstone had a good start in the opening game of the championship round, taking a 1-0 lead in the second when Sam Grape singled, stole second and scored on a pair of groundouts.
The Albion Juniors never seemed to recover from Pierce’s subsequent four-run burst in the bottom of the third. Bode Hoffman led off reaching by error and Pierce went ahead 4-1 with consecutive one-out singles by Colby Anderson, Jace Mohr, Halden Magnusson, Travis Emory and Dawson Raabe.
Pierce 10, Albion Juniors 1
Neding a bounceback, Albion Cornerstone again took a 1-0 lead in the ultimate championship contest that immediately followed. Then the roof caved in on the Albion Juniors.
After Albion’s Devon Luettel walked, advanced on a James Fogleman single and scored on a passed ball in the third inning, Pierce rattled off frames of two, two, three and three runs to methodically pull away.
Cornerstone could never get untracked at the plate. Fogleman’s single was the only Albion hit of the game, with just four batters reaching base in seven innings.
Additional coverage in Print & Online editions of Albion News/Boone County Tribune