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July 28, 2013

Post 346 advances to regional championship

TERRE HAUTE — “Finally,” was how Cody Brock described the relief he felt after a slump-busting double that powered Terre Haute Wayne Newton Post 346 to a 6-5 win over Floyds Knobs Saturday afternoon in the American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North High School.

“It’s been a long couple of weeks,” Brock said.

The victory puts Wayne Newton (33-10) in the championship game at 1 p.m. today, still unbeaten in the tourney, at North against either Floyds Knobs or Madison, from the lower bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Madison (12-12) ended Clinton Post 140’s surprising season by a 12-8 in the second game on Saturday. Madison and Floyds Knobs were scheduled to play an elimination game Saturday night.

With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Pete Lannoo singled to start the  rally. After a strikeout, Cody Thornton singled, Connor Pierce hit into a fielder’s choice that eliminated Thornton. Jacob Johnson was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Brock came to the plate in a 2-for-24 slump, dating back to the end of the regular season. Coach John Hayes called seven-hole hitter down the third baseline.

“I told him, ‘just have some fun. Relax and have some fun.’ He found the right way to have fun,” Hayes said.

Brock jumped on a fastball and drove it on the fly to the fence in left-center field for a three-run double that put Wayne Newton on top to stay.

“I was looking for a fastball in the middle and got my pitch. I’m glad we got this win. It was big,” Brock said.

Brock’s hit gave winning pitcher Damon Olds and reliever Lannoo enough cushion to keep Wayne Newton in the winner’s bracket of the tournament.

“That is big. Anytime you’re in a four-team [double-elimination] tournament if you can win the first two games, you’re in the cat-bird seat,” Hayes said.

Olds wasn’t as sharp as he has been of late, giving up seven hits and four earned runs while walking five batters, but he battled through seven complete innings before Lannoo came on the finish the game.

“[Olds] pitched and competed and he hung in there,” Hayes said.

Floyds Knobs (25-7) had the tying runs on base in the ninth inning. But Lannoo hurled three strike outs that ended the game.

Lead-off hitter Zach Milam was 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Wayne Newton’s 10-hit offense. Lane Dransfield had a triple and single and Cody Brock had a double and single.

Kyle Beach was 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBI to lead Floyds Knobs’ nine-hit offense.

Clinton went down swinging in the second game. The score was tied 2-2 after two innings and Madison led 6-5 after four innings. Madison scored two runs in the seventh and three in the eight to build a 12-5 lead going into the eighth inning.

Both teams struggled in pitching. Three Clinton pitchers surrendered 12 runs on 12 hits, while walking seven and two Madison pitchers gave up eight runs on 10 hits and walked seven.

Down by seven in the top of the eighth inning, Clinton charged back within striking distance when Dalton Clark reached base on Madison’s only error of the game to start the rally.

Tyler Smith walked and Jake Amstutz was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the top of the batting order. Jordan Branz reached base on an infield ground ball. Brady Jacobs followed with a single that scored Clark. Kam Weyrauch hit into another fielder’s choice for the second out and Nathan Luft singled to drive in Amstutz and Branz.

In a close play at the plate, Weyrauch was thrown out to end the rally.

Luft was 3-for-5 at the plate to lead Clinton’s 10-hit attack. Cole Morgan had a double and single and Clark and John Brown each had two singles.

Ethan Leach led Madison with three hits, including a double, and four RBI. Collin Burgess had had three hits and three RBI.

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