Photo by Matt Roth/The American Legion
Omaha, Neb., Post 1 took a 2-1 lead early on Monday night over Randolph Co., Post 45 before the game was suspended due to lightning and rain.
That lead was enough, as Nebraska held on for a 3-1 win, earning a spot in Tuesday night’s American Legion World Series championship game.
The game got off to a fast start on Monday, with a four-pitch walk to North Carolina’s Dalton Hammer, a single by Dawson Painter and an error, which brought Hammer around to score.
The bottom of the first started with a walk to Tom Steier, Will Hanafan getting hit by pitch and a wild pitch before Zach Luckey brought both runners home.
And then the rain came.
As has been a theme in this tournament, weather did not cooperate, forcing the game to be resumed at 4 p.m., on Tuesday.
And just as Tuesday’s heat replaced Monday’s rain, Tuesday’s stellar pitching replaced Monday’s quick runs as Randolph County’s Ryan Hill and Omaha’s Dylan Phillips settled into a groove on the mound.
Phillips kept his team’s lead intact by keeping North Carolina off of the scoreboard until he was replaced by Dane Hansen in the sixth, and was aided by a nice catch from Hanafan to end the top of the fifth to end the inning.
Hill worked out of trouble with a strikeout on a 3-2 count with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fourth and kept Nebraka’s potent offense at bay through five.
An insurance run came in the bottom of the sixth after singles from Nate Reiner and Hansen put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly from Cameron Blossom scored Reiner and the lead was two.
In the seventh, Hammer and Painter led off with singles off of Hansen and Cam Morrison navigated a long at bat to work a walk to load the bases.
Hansen buckled down, forcing two popups and inducing a ground ball to work out of trouble and to earn the save.
With the win, Nebraska gets a short turnaround to face Henderson, Nev., at 7 p.m., Tuesday night on ESPNU.