SHELBY — Missed opportunities proved to be the difference Monday afternoon at Keeter Stadium in Shelby as Idaho Falls, Idaho Post 56 moved to 3-0 in pool play by holding on in a tough 4-3 win over …
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SHELBY — Missed opportunities proved to be the difference Monday afternoon at Keeter Stadium in Shelby as Idaho Falls, Idaho Post 56 moved to 3-0 in pool play by holding on in a tough 4-3 win over Randolph County in third round action of the 2019 American Legion World Series.
The win sent Idaho to the national semifinal versus Danville, IL Post 210 (38-9), and eliminated the North Carolina representative with a 1-2 record in the event. The Post 45 loss also allowed Fargo, ND Post 2 to finish second in the Stripes Division. Fargo was scheduled to play Destrehan, LA Post 366 (38-8) in the first semifinal.
Seen as an overachieving team built on youth surrounding veterans such as Trevor Marsh, a three-time World Series participant and UNC-Wilmington signee, Randolph County came within an eyelash of advancing to the semi-finals before coming up just short and closing the season at 35-11.
Marsh kept Idaho off the board in the top of the first and Randolph County came in and took a 1-0 advantage when leadoff hitter Harris Jackson singled and Marsh lined a double to move him to third. Spencer Lanier’s sacrifice fly brought home Jackson and gave the game its first run. The opportunity of a big inning was doused by a double play to kill the threat, and was the first of three double plays turned by the strong Idaho defense which also replicated the feat in the second and fifth innings.
In the fourth, Idaho tied the contest behind two costly Post 45 mistakes. Randon Hostert was hit by a pitch to lead things off before Tavyn Lords singled. A throwing error by Randolph County allowed Hostert to score to tie the game at 1-all.
Idaho (59-6)was still threatening, with runners on second and third and one out, when a fly ball into foul ground forced first baseman Spencer Lanier to shift over and make an over-the-shoulder grab. Lanier then wheeled and fired home to barely get the Lords at home, keeping the game tied at 1-1.
In the fifth, Idaho broke through for two more to take the lead. Bruer Webster belted a one-out double to the right-field wall and came around to score on an Alex Cortez single to right field. Randon Hostert and Tavyn Lords smacked consecutive singles to bring home Cortez to extend the Post 56 advantage to 3-1.
Idaho tallied one more run in the top of the sixth to go up 4-1 when pinch hitter Kai Howell drove in Webster who had singled with one down before Cortez also smacked a base hit to right field.
North Carolina showed some real heart in the home half of the sixth as the locals used back-to-back singles to right field by Harris Jackson and Marsh, a wild pitch, an RBI-ground out to first by Lanier, and a sacrifice fly to right field by Austin Curry to trim the deficit to 4-3.
Idaho closed the door to seal the win, however, as Idaho reliever Andrew Gregerson set Post 45 down in order in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the win and pick up the save after two innings of two hit, two run pitching. Jace Hanson took the win after going five innings and allowing five hits and one run.
Jackson, Marsh and East Morgan were all 2-for-3 in the loss for Randolph County with Jackson scoring twice and Marsh adding a run and a double. Braxton Davis added the other hit for Post 45 in a 1-for-3 day while Lanier had two RBI.
Marsh suffered the loss on the mound after working 5.1 innings and allowing seven hits, three runs, a walk and fanning four.
Editor’s Note: Fargo, ND downed Destrehan, LA 10-4 in the first semi-final on Monday to advance to the American Legion World Series title game on Tuesday, August 20. Idaho Falls, ID outlasted Danville, IL 4-3 in nine innings to earn the other spot the championship game. Idaho Falls downed Fargo 7-3 in opening round action last Thursday, August 15.