The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


July 21, 2012

Joplin captures American Legion baseball district crown

WEBB CITY, Mo. —  No. 1 seed Joplin picked up 19 hits in beating Webb City 15-1 to win the District 15 AAA Tournament in Missouri American Legion baseball on Friday night.

Hank Millard, who was 4-for-4, and Brett Graham had four hits apiece for the Miners. Millard drove in four runs.

Webb City Post 322 outlasted Monett 10-8 in 10 innings behind a 16-hit attack in the losers’ bracket final at Barnes Field.

Joplin, 3-0 in the five-team, double-elimination tourney, advances to the zone playoffs next week at Carthage.

Said Joplin coach Bobby Stackhouse: “We did what we had to do. We hit the ball very well during the tournament. We were fortunate to stay in the winners’ bracket.”

Said Webb City coach Jackson Boyer: “Joplin deserved the championship. We had a great comeback win against Monett.”

The Miners kept the pressure on Webb City. The Miners scored 5-0 after three innings and scored in each frame.

Even a “rally rabbit” that appeared briefly near the Webb City dugout in the sixth inning couldn’t help Post 322.

The championship game came to a halt in unusual fashion. Umpires called the contest with one out in the top of the seventh inning when water sprinklers came on in the outfield.

Right-hander Bryce Ash allowed five hits in six innings to claim the victory.

The Miners, in addition to Millard and Graham, had Tristan Ash with three hits and older brother Bryce with a pair.

Boyer praised the pitching of right-handers Gage Belcher and Trenton Moeller and clutch hits from Colten Potts, Jay Roderique and Klay James in ousting Monett.

Post 322, in the 10th inning, got a single from Potts, a sacrifice from Moeller, a walk to Richie Peoples and a two-out single from James to snap the 8-8 tie. Belcher’s single plated Peoples.

“Gage (who struck out three straight batters in the seventh) really came into the game throwing hard,” Boyer said. “Trenton entered in a tough situation (tied) and pitched very well.”

Potts’ bases-loaded triple caught Monett at 7 in the fifth inning and Roderique’s single gave Webb City the lead in the sixth before Post 91 rallied to tie it at 8.

Said Monett coach Michael Calhoun: “Potts’ hit changed the game. We battled back to tie it before James came up with the big hit in the top of the 10th.”

James finished with four hits and Belcher three. Roderique and Maquel Harbin each had a pair.

Ben Makela had three hits for Monett and Kyle Robbins and Nick Childress each added two safeties.

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