By Mike Hastings
The Post 5 Warriors were true to their name at the American Legion State Championship Tournament this week, battling back from an early loss to make it all the way to the championship game, before coming in second place.
And the team was not beaten on the field in the championship game. Because of their hectic schedule of play and number of pitchers used over the weekend, they had no one to toe the rubber and had to forfeit.
It was a tough ending to a long week, but coach Rob Kohls said the young men performed like champions.
“They are just a different team in tournaments,” Kohls said.
“They play with such determination and never quit. I was so proud of their effort,” he said.
Kohls also lauded the effort of coaches Jeff Demonbreun and John Armstrong.
“We couldn’t have done without them,” Kohls said.
The Warriors played five games from Wednesday through Saturday. They started out against Gallatin Post 17 and won 4-2. On Thursday, they suffered an 11-5 loss to eventual champions Columbia Post 19.
The Warriors played twice on Friday, beating Gallatin again 8-6 in the morning, then survived a slugfest against Inglewood Post 82, winning 14-13.
That set up a semi-final matchup against host Pulaski Post 60. The Warriors won in a thriller 6-5.
Patrick Lockridge had a hot bat for the Warriors in the first game against Gallatin. Lockridge went 2-4, drove in one and scored one run. He tripled in the third inning and singled in the ninth inning.
Matt Rowe was dominant on the mound for the Warriors, with a nine-strikeout performance. Rowe allowed no earned runs on six hits and two walks over seven innings.
In the rematch on Friday, Austin Armstrong recorded the win for the Warriors. He allowed four runs over four innings. Armstrong struck out four, walked two and gave up four hits.
The bottom of the third saw the Warriors take an early lead, 1-0. Adam LaCour started the rally f with a single.
The fifth spelled defeat for Post 17 , as the Warriors grabbed the lead for good. More runners rounded the bases on a two-run error, a sacrifice fly by Taylor Demonbreun, and a two-run single by LaCour.
The Warriors grabbed the lead after a strong eighth inning against Inglewood. An error scored Patrick Lockridge and gave them the lead for good.
T.C. Newton got it done on the mound on the way to a win. He allowed two runs over 1 1/3 innings. He struck out two, walked one and surrendered two hits.
Taylor Demonbreun, Lockridge, Newton and Matt Rowe combined for six hits and six RBIs.
The Warriors survived Post 82 ‘s surge and put up three runs of its own in the fourth. They scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam LaCour and a two-run single by Lockridge.
Post 82 tied the game in the eighth on a passed ball that scored Cole.
After pushing across two runs in the top of the ninth, Post 82 faced just a 14-13 deficit. The Warriors closed the game out when Newton got Cole to ground out.
Against host Pulaski, the Warriors pulled out the win thanks to a strong ninth inning. A two-run error scored Tyrek White and Terron Smith and gave the Warriors the lead for good.
White led the Warriors’ offensive threat, as he got on base three times. He scored two runs and had one RBI. He homered in the third inning and singled in the fourth inning.
Colin Kriminger baffled Post 60 , striking out 11 batters. Kriminger allowed no earned runs, four hits and five walks over seven innings.
Dayton Woods recorded the win for the Warriors. He allowed four runs over two innings. Woods struck out two, walked two, and five hits.
The Warriors scored two runs in the third inning, and then followed it up with two more in the ninth. In the third, the Warriors scored on a solo home run by White.
The tournament ended the 2016 season for the Warriors. Players interested in trying out in 2017 should contact Rob Kohls at email@example.com.
Warriors Finish 2nd in State Tournament