ST. LEON —
Wayne Newton Post 346 greeted a pitcher from Class 4A state champion Elkhart Central with four runs in the top of the first inning Friday afternoon and took another step toward an American Legion baseball state championship with a 9-5 win over Bristol.
Starting pitcher T.J. Decker struggled early, giving up all five runs in the first three innings, but shut down the northern Indiana team over the last six frames.
A run-scoring double by Connor Pierce tied the game in the top of the fifth, and Post 346 got its winning run in the sixth and three insurance tallies in the top of the eighth.
Terre Haute now faces Princeton at noon today, with the winner advancing to Sunday’s championship round. Bristol plays the survivor of Friday’s late game between Crawfordsville and host St. Leon in today’s second game, with the winner of that game coming right back to play the loser of the noon game.
Princeton and Post 346 split a doubleheader on the last weekend of the regular season.
Post 346 is the host team for Great Lakes National Regional play that begins Thursday at Indiana State’s Bob Warn Field.
Post 346 400 011 030 — 9 8 2
Bristol 122 000 000 — 5 10 4
W — Decker, 10-1. L — Malcom.
Highlights — For Post 346, Cody Thornton was 3 for 6 with 2 runs, Connor Pierce was 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI and Preston Tofaute, Jacob Johnson and Zach Milam all had RBIs.
Next — Post 346 (36-10) plays Princeton at noon today.
In Thursday’s late game:
• Wayne Newton Post 346 5, St. Leon 1 — Damon Olds allowed a first-inning run but nothing else as Post 346 opened state finals play.
Pete Lannoo drove in two runs with a pair of singles, Jacob Johnson had a double off the left-field fence and Cody Thornton, Sam Wolf, Craig Peters and Zach Milam all added singles for the winners.
In the other Thursday game, Princeton beat Crawfordsville 18-8.
Post 346 020 010 011 — 5 7 0
St. Leon 100 000 000 — 1 5 4
W — Olds, 10-0. L — Martin.
Highlights — For Post 346, Pete Lannoo was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs, Jacob Johnson 1 for 4 with a double, Sam Wolf 1 for 4 with an RBI, Cody Thornton and Craig Peters each 1 for 4 and Zach Milam 1 for 5. Damon Olds won his 10th game of the summer on the mound.
In other baseball:
• Terre Haute Rex 6, Springfield Sliders 3 — At Springfield, Tyler Wampler had key hits in three Rex rallies and improved his team-leading batting average to .347 late Thursday night.
Wampler’s single and a run-scoring double by Kalik May brought the Rex within 2-1 in the top of the third, but starting pitcher Louis Cohen was still behind by that score after six strong innings.
In the seventh, however, a single by Evan Heptig, a double by Wampler and an intentional walk to Kyle Kempf set up a three-run inning, runs scoring on a wild pitch, an Andrew Cope single and an Atlee Schwab sacrifice fly.
Singles by Nick Johnson, Heptig and Wampler produced a run in the eighth, and Izaak Silva had an RBI single in the ninth.
The Rex have a split doubleheader today against Danville, hosting the West Division leaders at 1:05 p.m. before both teams travel to Danville for a scheduled 7:30 game. The Rex finish the season with home games Sunday and Monday.
Terre Haute Rex 001 000 311 — 6 12 1
Springfield Sliders 020 000 010 — 3 9 1
W — Cohen, 5-0. L — Simpson, 1-4. Sv — Krugh (2).
Highlights — For the Rex, Tyler Wampler was 3 for 5 with a double, 2 runs and an RBI; Evan Heptig 3 for 4; Andrew Cope 3 for 5; and Kalik May 1 for 5 with a double.
Next — The Terre Haute Rex (29-27) have a 1:05 p.m. home game today against Danville; play at 7:30 p.m. today at Danville; and host Springfield at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and Hannibal at 7:05 p.m. Monday.
• Granda wins, wraps up second place — At Rochester, Andrew Granda of Terre Haute shot 77 in the rain Friday to win an Indiana Junior Golf Tour event at Round Barn Golf Course.
The 12-year-old was a five-shot winner over Devin Trusty of Chesterton and finished second in the season points list.
• Education outing — At Rea Park, the Vigo County Education Foundation had its outing on Friday.
53 — Gregg Kluesner, Ernie Goble, Dennis Stark, Richard Williamson.
64 — Jerry Isles, Jeff Lewellyn, Brian Prox, Jim Nidlinger.
66 — Bill Merrill, Mark Merrill, Tom Thomas, Gavin Regg (second place); Doug Tischbein, Jay Etling, A.J. Wilkerson, Rick Doss (third).
Closest to pin — Doug Grim.
Longest drive — Thomas.
Longest putt — Steve Maher.
• Walters wins — At Vincennes, Jason Walters won the Vincennes Open played last weekend at the Country Club of Old Vincennes.
Walters won with a 2-over-par 142 score, one shot better than Alex Halter and two shots better than Pat Reynolds and Harold Schreifer.
Players from the area competed in the event. Denny Byram took second in the A flight while Randy Kruse won the B flight and Greg Reininga tied for second.
Vincennes Open results
142 — Jason Walters.
143 — Alex Halter.
144 — Pat Reynolds, Harold Schreifer.
146 — Joe Lancaster.
149 — Jeff Hein.
150 — Jeremy Catt, Erlo Elkins, Austin Leonard, Tyler Gray.
153 — Larry Maxwell, Rick Leonard.
154 — Steve Gordon, Tom Webster.
155 — Eddie Kanizer.
156 — Stacey Vitaniemi.
161 — Drew Hatton.
164 — Robbie Waggoner.
150 — Ryan McClure.
152 — Denny Byram.
153 — Brian Heintz.
157 — Mike Ball.
158 — Jeff Sprunger.
161 — Brett Bean.
162 — Scott Whittenburg.
164 — Cole Bradbury.
165 — Koye Kaiser.
166 — Tim Leser, Nick Reel.
167 — Luke Jerrells.
156 — Randy Kruse.
158 — Jared Hatfield, Greg Reininga.
160 — Rex Roth, Larry Knight.
162 — Matt McCammon.
169 — Rick Candler.
170 — Nick Claycomb.