La Plata wins first game of region tournament
La Plata Legion team earns victory to start Mid-Atlantic tourney
PURCELLVILLE, VA. — Set for a midday start to open up the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament on Wednesday at Fireman’s Field, La Plata Post 82’s Peyton Myers felt just a little different than usual going through his pregame routine.
“I just felt relaxed,” he said. “Before the game in BP I kind of took it a little more serious than usual. I wanted to focus on my hitting. It paid off, I guess.”
Myers was 2 for 3 and drove in four runs in the La Plata’s 12-2, seven-inning win over Wesleyville (Pa.) Post 571, with a two-run home run to his credit. But by the time Myers swatted his four-bagger over the fence just inside the left-field foul pole in the top of the fifth inning, La Plata, the Maryland state champion, was already firmly in command.
Tied at 1 through two innings, La Plata erupted for nine runs in the top of the third. Dean Kirby was hit by a pitch to lead things off, while Patrick Estevez, Brett Pilkerton and Myers followed with singles,
with Myers plating Kirby with the go-ahead run.
Trevor Drummond walked with the bases loaded to push another run across the plate before Wesleyville recorded its first out on a fielder’s choice at the plate. But Brant Butler got things rolling again with an RBI single, while Nick Steury reached on an error the following at-bat to push another run across the plate and increase the lead to 5-1. The bases still loaded, Zach Harris then ripped a double to right-center to clear the bases and run the score to 8-1. La Plata scored twice more in the inning, with bases-loaded walks by Myers and Drummond driving the runs home.
While there was plenty of time left in the scheduled nine-inning game, the nine-run edge left La Plata feeling more than a little confident.
“It helped because it put the other team down,” Estevez said of the third-inning outburst. “I’ve been in both situations and I know when we jump on other teams early it shuts them down. It’s hard to come back from that.”
Ryan Calvert started and worked five innings for La Plata. He surrendered just a first-inning run, allowed four hits and struck out two.
Wesleyville, the Pennsylvania ‘B’ champion, finally
scratched out another run off of reliever Seth Morrison in the sixth, but it was far too little and far too late as La Plata proceeded to secure the seven-inning, mercy-rule conclusion.
In what was a proficient offensive day overall, the top of La Plata’s order was especially productive, as Estevez, Pilkerton and Myers each had two hits and reached base at least three times. In all, La Plata had eight hits and drew nine walks in the game, while eight of the starting nine scored at least one run.
“I was real confident coming in. I felt relaxed at the plate,” said Estevez, who was 2 for 2 with two runs scored, while also walking twice and reaching once via error. “I was picking up
the ball well and just thought ‘I’m going to get a hit no matter what he throws.’ We kind of all did that.”
La Plata was set to face Ephrata (Pa.) Post 429 on Thursday night. A win would put La Plata up against Hopewell (N.J.) Post 339 or Delaware Post 1 at 7 tonight. A loss would put La Plata up against Rockland (N.Y.) Post 130 or Albemarle (Va.) Post 74 at 3:30 p.m. today. The tournament is scheduled to run through Sunday, with the championship game scheduled for 1 p.m.
Myers, for one, was optimistic that La Plata would be able to keep its momentum rolling into the next round and hopefully beyond.
“Our team is pretty good,” he said. “We have a lot of pitching and a lot of hitting.”
La Plata Post 82’s Peyton Myers rounds the bases after homering over the left-field fence in the fifth inning of the team’s 12-2 victory over Wesleyville (Pa.) Post 571 in the opening round of the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Purcellville, Va., on Wednesday.
Ryan Calvert started and earned the win on the mound for La Plata Post 82 in its 12-2 victory over Wesleyville (Pa.) Post 571 in opening round of the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Purcellville, Va.