Having successfully toppled Newton Post 20, the third seed, on Thursday in the District 23 American Junior Legion tournament, Teutopolis Post 924 set its sights even higher in the winners' bracket semifinals on Friday, where it looked to knock off second-seeded Vandalia Post 95.
Late in the game, ahead 6-4 after six and a half frames, it seemed likely that Post 924 was about to add another heavy favorite to its recent list of victims and extend the postseason streak. But a two-run seventh from Post 95 forced extra innings and Colin Ledbetter's ground ball with the bases loaded induced a game-deciding play at the plate in the eighth. Zach Schaal, who had singled earlier in the inning, beat the throw home and sent Post 95's dugout onto the field to celebrate a 7-6 comeback win.
"We got the play, we got exactly what we wanted," Post 924 coach Dennis Blievernicht said. "When you're 15 or 16, those things happen."
Post 95 seized the momentum in the eighth and only extra inning when it started with three straight base hits. The third, a double from Ryne Dangbar, forced a potential game-deciding play at the plate, but the runner was tagged out to extend the game, at least momentarily. Cody Runde, who entered the game in the seventh, intentionally walked Nate Ketchem in the ensuing at-bat to load the bases and bring in the Post 924 infield for a potential double play or throw to home. Runde induced a ground ball to Ledbetter, but the throw to the plate sailed just a bit wide and Schaal crossed without much debate.
"We had every intention of winning that ballgame," Blievernicht said. "They're a good team, that's the way it goes sometimes. it was a fun game though, a good game."