Photo by Matt Roth/The American Legion
Hopewell (N.J.) Post 339 didn’t get all the runs they needed Sunday, but they won’t leave The American Legion World Series without a win.
Hopewell defeated Lewiston (Idaho) Post 13 7-5 in Game 11 at Keeter Stadium to finish 1-2 in pool play at the ALWS. Hopewell needed to win by four runs or more and have North Carolina beat Arkansas in Game 12 to reach Monday’s semifinals.
Lewiston, meanwhile, was also waiting for the result of the North Carolina-Arkansas game to see if they would advance. They would need a North Carolina win to leave Lewiston, Hopewell and Bryant (Ark.) Post 298 with 1-2 records in pool play — with all three losing to Randolph County (N.C.) Post 45 — in order to win the tiebreaker for second place in the Stars Division on run differential.
“Even though we won the game, we won’t advance because we didn’t win by four. And we knew that going into the bottom of the (seventh),” Hopewell coach Mike Coryell said. “… To get to the point where we were up four and to lose it again (was tough).”
Hopewell jumped out early as leadoff hitter Will Karp doubled to left, then scored on Chris DeClerico’s single. Lewiston answered in the bottom of the first, when Luke White’s double scored Riley Way to make it 1-1 after one.
Hopewell took a 3-1 lead in the third when Karp scored again, on a single by Luke Blair, and Tom Pecora’s single scored DeClerico. Two more runs in the fourth, when Nick Psomaras’ single drove home Karp and DeClerico, made it 5-1.
Lewiston answered cutting the lead to 5-4 with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and one in the fifth. Ryder Shoults drove in White and Chase Adkison with a single in the fourth and Alex Light scored on Jaden Phillips’ sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Cam Cane hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth to make it 7-4. In the bottom of the sixth, Light singled to right center to drive in Shoults, closing the gap to 7-5. Pecora led off the top of the seventh with a single for Hopewell, but a double play and a foul out ended their bid to advance.
Andy Blake picked up the win in relief for Hopewell.