SUPER SIXERS: KOKOMO POST 6 EARNS FIRST INDIANA LEGION STATE FINALS BERTH SINCE 2001

Kokomo Post 6

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. - For the first time since 2001, the Kokomo Post 6 baseball team will return to the Indiana American Legion State Finals after cruising through the four-team Indiana Regional No. 3 at Centerville High School. The Sixers (26-5) will play for its third Indiana state championship this week at Bill Nixon Field in Plymouth.

“They are just the most fun group, top to bottom, that I have ever coached,” said Post 6 manager Don Andrews. “The players play very relaxed.”

The Sixers advances to the state finals following a 12-5 win over Richmond Post 65 in the title clash. Drew Bellus picked up the win, throwing five-hit ball through the first six innings. Justin Blevens led the offensive attack with a pair of singles, a home run and five RBIs. Keagan Downey nearly hit for the cycle, ending with a single, double and a triple. Nathan Pflugh popped two singles and a double while S.A. Dunn and Isaac Turner each had two singles.

“Our team on-base percentage for the year is .478,” said Andrews, who noted the squads six through nine hitters accounted for 11 RBIs in the win. “We should be able to score runs with that. Then it is easier for our pitchers to pitch with the lead and no pressure on our defense.”

Post 6 opened regional play with an 11-2 win over Cicero Post 34, thanks to a solid pitching performance by Austin Weaver, who improved to 8-0 on the season. Weaver struck out six in six innings of work and gave up just one earned run. Dunn had three singles and a double to pace the hit parade. Logan Macaluso and Pflugh had two singles each and Downey had a double. Evan Warden and Blevens each had a two-run single.

Game two saw Kokomo knocked off Richmond 9-1 as Warden struck out 11 hitters in six innings of shutout work to record the win. Macaluso had two singles and a triple, Tyler Goudy and Isaac Turner had a single and double each and Downey knocked in a pair of runs.

“Probably the most important thing from this weekend was our approach at the plate,” said Andrews. “We do a very good job of taking what the opposing pitcher gives us. We had 40 hits in three games, but also had 21 bases on balls.”

Kokomo (state championships in 1972, 1976 and 1982) will open its bid for a fourth state title in the final game of opening day on July 29 when it plays host Plymouth Post 27 at 7:30 p.m. Rockport Post 254 plays Remington Post 280 in the tourney opener at 9:30 a.m. Game two features Mishawaka Post 161 against Newburgh Post 44 at 12:30 p.m. while Floyds Knob Post 42 will battle perineal favorite and 12-time state champion Terre Haute Post 346 at 4:30 p.m.

The winner of the Indiana state finals will travel to the eight-team Great Lakes Regional in Terre Haute the following week. Terre Haute receives an automatic bid to the regional, so if they win the state title the runner-up team would advance.

INDIANA AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL STATE TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS

Tuesday, July 29

Game 1: Rockport 254 (7) vs. Remington 280 (1)

Game 2: Mishawaka 161 vs. Newburgh 44 (12:30 p.m.)

Game 3: Floyds Knobs 42 vs. Terre Haute 346 (4:30 p.m.)

Game 4: Kokomo 6 vs. Plymouth 27 (7:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, July 30

Game 5: Loser game 5 vs. Remington Post 280 (9:30 a.m.)

Game 6: Loser game 2 vs. loser game 4 (12:30 p.m.)

Game 7: Rockport 254 vs. winner game 3 (4:30 p.m.)

Game 8: Winner game 2 vs. winner game 4 (7:30 p.m.)

Thursday, July 31

Game 9: Winner game 6 vs. loser game 7 (12:30 p.m.)

Game 10: Winner game 5 vs. loser Game 8 (4:30 p.m.)

Game 11: Winner game 7 vs. winner game 8 (7:30 p.m.)

Friday, Aug. 1

Game 12: Winner game 9 vs. loser game 11 (1 p.m.)

Game 13: Winner game 10 vs. winner game 11 (7 p.m.)

 

Saturday, Aug. 2 (Championship Game)

Game 14: Winner game 12 vs. winner game 13 (1 p.m.)

Game 15: If necessary (7 p.m.)

 

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AMERICAN LEGION JUNIOR SIXERS WIN REGIONAL, ADVANCE TO STATE FINALS IN KOKOMO

Junior Legion Regional Champs 2

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. - The Kokomo American Legion Post 6 junior baseball team recently captured the Kokomo Regional in the Indiana Junior District Tournament at cfd Investments Stadium in Highland Park. The Sixers won in dramatic fashion, winning three straight elimination games in one day to earn the title trophy. The win sends the squad to the Indiana Junior State Finals, which will be held in Kokomo beginning on July 25.

“Winning three games in a day is difficult, but we were up to the task of winning back-to-back-to-back games,” said head coach Dan Armstrong. “It is always good to win championships. We look forward to the state championship starting on Thursday night.”

In the championship game, Post 6 defeated Valparaiso 15-1 to claim the title. Quinlan Armstrong pitched a five-inning complete game one-hitter to earn the win while giving up no earned runs. Armstrong also led the hitting attack, ripping a double, two singles and scoring three runs. Ian Parslow had a double and single and scored three times. Keyon Washington had a pair of doubles and three RBIs, Will Harris scored three runs, Jesse Johnson had a pair of RBIs and Colby Malson had two singles.

Post 6 advanced to the title game after a 3-2 win over Valparaiso. Brayton Woolley threw a complete game three-hitter to earn the win. Armstrong had a pair of singles and an RBI to lead the offense. Chase Pearce had a double and scored a run while Skyler Ramberger had two singles.

The junior Sixers started the tournament on a sour note, losing to Bristol in a 3-2 pitchers duel. Pearce took the hard-luck complete game loss but added a pair of singles on offense. Malson and Parslow added a single each and Harris and Ramberger had RBI sacrifice flies.

“We did it the hard way by losing on Friday night in a tough ball game with Bristol,” said Armstrong. “But we came back on Saturday needing to win three games that day to win the tournament and did so against a very good Bristol team and a very feisty Valparaiso team who we had to beat twice. We received outstanding pitching in the tournament with timely hitting with runners in scoring position.”

In game two of the tourney, Post 6 avenged its loss with a 16-9 win over Bristol. Malson earned the win while Parslow picked up a save. Armstrong had a stellar game, ripping two doubles and a single while scoring two runs and accounting for four RBIs. Harris had three hits, including a double and home run, while scoring twice and knocking home four runs. Parslow had two singles, scored twice and had three RBIs. Skyler Ramberger had two RBIs and Pearce had a single, double and two runs scored.

The Post 6 junior squad opens state finals play at 7:30 p.m. on July 25 against Rockport at cfd Investments Stadium. Game one features Terre Haute versus Evansville at 5 p.m. The double-elimination, four-team tournament has games at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on July 26 with the championship game slated for July 27 at 1 p.m. (second game will follow if necessary).

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cfd SAINTS II 14U BASEBALL TEAM WINS CARMEL CUP TOURNAMENT

cfd Saints Champs

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. - The cfd Saints II 14U baseball team traveled to the Carmel Cup Tournament and played its best baseball of the year. After rolling through pool play with a perfect 3-0 record, the Saints dominated the 10-team field and captured the Cup championship with a 6-0 win over the Fishers Tigers.

“We finally got hot for a weekend and won 6 games in 72 hours,” said Saints manager Brent Owens. “It was a weekend when all three phases were working for us.  Offensively we scored 47 runs, defensively we played some error free games and made several great plays and our pitching staff only gave up nine runs in 36 innings.”

With the No. 1 seed in the knockout round of the tournament, the Saints (21-16-2) topped the Indy Jets 12-2 in the quarterfinals and Zionsville 4-3 in the semi-finals to set up the championship showdown with Fishers.

Kacy Wilson picked-up a pair of wins on the weekend, including a six inning effort against Zionsville. Wilson allowed just three earned runs in nine innings while striking out eight hitters.

Cooper O’Neal pitched nine innings on the weekend including a complete game shut-out against Fishers in the title bout. O’Neal recorded eight strikeouts in the contest.

Ashton Guyer and Grady Davis pitched complete games for victories and Kolten Gifford got a victory against the Jets in the quarterfinals.

“Kacy Wilson got his eighth win on the season and has been a mainstay for us on the mound this year,” said Owens. “And when Cooper O’Neal is on, he is an awesome pitcher.”

Offensively, Gifford led the charge going 9-20 with two doubles and four RBIs over the course of the six games. Jaret Humphrey finished 7-14 with four RBIs while O’Neal also had seven hits, four RBIs and a pair of doubles. Peyton Tracy ripped three doubles among his six hits while knocking home six RBIs. Wilson was 6-12 with three RBIs. Bailey Owens tied for the team lead with six RBIs while ripping five base hits and Chandler LaMott had two doubles among five hits and three RBIs. Rounding out the offense was Davis with four hits and three RBIs, Peyton Johnson with a triple and three singles, Wynn Takacs with a pair of hits and Guyer with two home runs.

“Ashton Guyer crushed a home run that went about 350 feet,” said Owens. “This is a great group of young men and we really represent Western, Taylor, Kokomo and Lewis Cass well; it is a fun group to be around.”

For more information on cfd Saints II baseball, visit the programs website at www.cfdsaintsii.com. The Saints will host tryouts for the 2015 team on Aug. 9 at 2 p.m.  at the cfd Field on Goyer Road. For more information on the tryouts, contact Owens at (765) 438-0635.

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