Seniors win wild one to stay alive in Area 5
In a game where two teams combined for 30 hits, it was a passed ball that ended a wild elimination game in the Class B Area 5 tournament Sunday in West Point, with the Wayne American Legion Post 43 Seniors claiming a 16-15 win over the host team.
Wayne got on the board in the bottom of the first with three runs, thanks to a two-run single by Justin Dean and an RBI double by Brennan O’Reilly. Wayne would add another run in the second on a single by Tucker Nichols that scored Tyler Lutt to make it 4-1.
West Point scored four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 5-4 lead, but Wayne appeared to put the game out of reach in the bottom of the inning as 14 batters came to the plate and 10 came home to score, highlighted by back-to-back two-run singles by Dean and O’Reilly and a West Point throwing error that brought Josh Lutt and Ryan Jaixen home. Mason Lee ended the scoring when he stole third and came home on a Tyler Lutt single to make it 14-5.
West Point would come back, however, scoring two in the fifth and eight in the sixth to take a 15-14 lead and Wayne would need a wild comeback in the bottom of the seventh to claim the win.
The inning started with a walk to Hagan Miller, with Nichols coming on to pinch run. Payten Gamble followed with a ground ball that was mishandled and Reid Korth was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.
Dean hit a comebacker to the pitcher, but rather than getting the force out at home, he turned and put Korth out at second, allowing Nichols to come home with the tying run. On a 2-2 pitch to Beau Bowers, the ball got past the catcher and Gamble came home to score the winning run for the 14-11 Seniors and end West Point’s season.
Tyler Lutt had three hits, drove in two and scored two for the Wayne Seniors. Dean had two hits and a game-high five RBI’s while scoring twice, Gamble scored three times, O’Reilly had two hits and three RBI’s, Nichols had two hits and two runs and Jaixen and Lee both scored twice. Jaixen picked up the win in relief.
Wayne will play Wahoo on Monday at 7 p.m. A Wayne win puts them in a winner-take-all final on Tuesday, while a Wahoo win gives that team two chances to win one game against the Waterloo-Valley vs. O’Neill survivor.