Extra-Inning Loss Ends Barnstable Post 206 American Legion Tourney Run
By: Tom Moran Jr.
In the end, it was a single pitch, as it really always is, that decided the outcome of Barnstable Post 206’s 2012 American Legion baseball season.
With the score tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the 12th inning at The Ball Park in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, a wild pitch/passed ball allowed the winning run to score as First Title of Maine edged Barnstable 6-5 on Sunday in the American Legion Northeast Regional’s losers’ bracket finals.
After dropping into the losers’ bracket last Saturday morning when eventual Regional tournament champion Milford, Connecticut, banged out a 9-5 decision, Post 206 stayed in the title hunt with a 4-2 win over Woonsocket, Rhode Island later that same day.
The win over the Rhode Island entry sent Post 206 into their Sunday matchup with the Maine state champs, who hail from Portland, but it didn’t end well for the locals despite an heroic pitching effort by right-hander Keegan Dellacona, who went the distance (11.2 innings) for Post 206, giving up 13 hits while striking out 16 in the extra-inning affair.
A three-run, seventh inning put Post 206 on top but First Title countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth and that 5-5 deadlock stayed in place until the home half of the 12th.
Barnstable grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as leadoff hitter Dylan Morris doubled, shortstop Will Toffey walked and, after Morris scored on a throwing error by the FT catcher, another double, this one off the bat of first baseman Alex Pernick, gave the locals their two-run edge.
First Title got one run back in the home half of the second inning and then plated a pair of runs in the third to go in front 3-2.
Post 206 regained the lead in the top of the seventh as a walk to left fielder Luke Besse, a single by catcher Terrence Mudie and another walk loaded the bases before a First Title error and a wild pitch allowed Barnstable to up its run total to five.
The lead lasted just an inning however as First Title used three hits to score two runs to knot the score at 5-all.
Post 206 put two runners aboard with no outs in the top of the ninth but failed to score and then went hitless in their next three at-bats.
First Title managed a pair of hits over that same span but did not need one in the 12th as Lou DiStasio struck out on a pitch in the dirt but wound up reaching safely when the throw from the plate was in the dirt.
A stolen base and two intentional walks later, First Title had the bases loaded and were able to cash in when Dellacona and Mudie got their signals crossed.
Pernick, Besse and Morris both had two hits each to lead Post 206’s offense.
Post 206 staved off elimination last Saturday night, relegating Woonsocket Post 85 to that fate with a 4-2 win in Barnstable’s second game of the day.
Alec Morrison and Peter Liimatainen shared the pitching duties for Post 206 with Morrison going the first four innings (five hits, one run, three strikeouts) before giving way to Liimatainen, who allowed just three hits and a run in his five innings of work.
Barnstable broke on top in the top of the first inning.
Morris and second baseman Mark Brodd opened the game with singles, and after both runners advanced on a double steal, Morris scored on Will Toffey’s sacrifice fly and Brodd followed him in when Pernick doubled to left.
Woonsocket cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the fourth only to have the Mass state champs counter with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth.
Besse and Mudie got things started with inning-opening base hits and, after both moved up a base on Denny Beynor’s sacrifice bunt, Morris’s single to center brought them home and pushed Barnstable’s scoreboard advantage to 4-1.
Post 85 was able to get one of those runs back, on a Branden Perrico RBI double in the bottom of the seventh, but got no closer as Liiamatainen retired six of the last seven batters he faced to nail down the win.
Out of the Winners’ Bracket
After getting rained out on Friday, Post 206 needed a much bigger umbrella on Saturday when Milford Post 196 (which would go on to win the tournament with a 5-0 record) used a six-run seventh inning to record the 9-5 win and banish Barnstable to the losers’ bracket.
Post 206 took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning on Pernick’s RBI single and an error by the Milford left fielder.
Miford took advantage of some sloppy Barnstable fielding in the bottom of the fourth inning to score three runs.
Post 206 committed three errors in the inning and Post 196 helped its own cause with a pair of base hits that gave the Connecticut champs a 3-2 lead that lasted until Barnstable came to bat in the sixth.
This time it was Miford that was unable to make the defensive plays as an error by the Post 196 shortstop gave Post 206 a pair of runs and a 4-3 lead.
It all came apart for Post 206 in the bottom of the seventh as Barnstable starter George Bent Jr. tired and Milford combined four hits and a Barnstable error to plate six runs and take a lead that would be more than enough to get the job done.
Morris and Besse paced the Barnstable attack with two hits apiece with Morris also driving in a pair of runs. Pernick and Toffey had matching one-hit, one-RBI outings.
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