American Legion team’s run reaches its end
PURCELLVILLE, VA. – As the La Plata Post 82 team took the field for the bottom of the eighth inning in its game against Albemarle Post 74 at Fireman’s Field on Friday night, all looked secure. Ahead 18-8, La Plata needed only to record three outs to put the game away to advance in the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament.
The secure appearance was deceiving. By the time La Plata recorded the final out of the eighth, Albemarle had scored seven runs to avoid the run-rule conclusion and eliminate the significant deficit it faced. The Virginia state champions proceeded to score three more runs to tie the game in the ninth and eventually won the game 19-18 in 13 innings. The outcome eliminated La Plata from the double elimination tournament, which was eventually won by Hopewell (N.J.) Post 339 on Sunday.
Having been rained out in the final scheduled game on Thursday night, La Plata was forced to play its winner’s bracket semifinal against Ephrata (Pa.) 429 in the first game on Friday morning. After losing a
3-2 nailbiter, the team had to turn back around and play Albemarle just a couple of hours later. Then, out to a big lead early in that second game — La Plata led 12-2 through 4 1/2 innings — the team started making changes to rest starters by the fifth inning.
“Our boys got tired,” La Plata manager Dave Harris said. “We had made some changes and we didn’t think it was too early in the game. They got tired and it happens. It’s part of baseball. [Albemarle] hit the ball well. There weren’t a whole lot of mistakes to cause [the comeback]. They just hit the ball well. Sometimes when it flows that way
Brant Butler started on the mound and worked 4 1/3 innings for La Plata Post 82 in its game against Albermarle (Va.) Post 74 on Friday at the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament in Purcellville, Virginia. Butler also went 5 for 8 and scored four runs, but La Plata ended up on the losing end of a 19-18, 13-inning decision.