Bow­ing out

Amer­i­can Le­gion team’s run reaches its end

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

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

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

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.

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