The first round of The American Legion World Series got under way Friday at Avista Stadium in Spokane, Wash.. With clear skies and warm weather, four games were completed.
Game 1: Las Vegas 6, Kernersville, N.C., 5
Before Las Vegas starting pitcher Alex Estrella stepped up to home plate, his father yelled, "That's my boy!" Little did Estrella's father know that his son would hit the game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the eighth to complete a 6-5 victory over Kernersville, N.C.
"I was happy to be at the plate, smiling to myself in order to relax, and I was ready for any pitch," the 17-year-old Estrella said. "I saw the ball really well today, and I was just trying to help my team out."
Las Vegas trailed Kernersville but began to see a rally in sight after third baseman Konner Klein hit a two-run home run - his first home run of the season - in the bottom of the sixth inning. After Klein's inspiring hit, short stop Jake Hager hit an RBI single in the seventh inning, followed by Estrella's winning hit in the eighth.
Estrella finished 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs, while 19-year-old Brooks Klein picked up the win on the mound.
Las Vegas (47-15) had six runs and 10 hits. Kernersville (34-15) had five runs and 11 hits.
Game 2: Midwest City, Okla., 18, Chesapeake, Va., 2
Eighteen-year-old Midwest City, Okla., pitcher Kevin Hill set a Legion record with 15 strikeouts in a seven-inning game, as Midwest City beat Chesapeake, Va., 18-2, in a 10-run rule-shortened game.
After the first inning, Midwest City led 5-2 and never looked back. Contributing to the impressive score with three hits apiece were third baseman Josh Halbert, right fielder Dalton Bernardi and designated hitter Caleb Price, while Bernardi and shortstop Alex Polston had three RBIs each.
"Being here at The American Legion World Series and getting a big win is incredible," said 17-year-old catcher Taylor Hawkins. "It was a matter of practice and being focused."
Midwest City (62-9) had 18 runs and 10 hits. Chesapeake (29-7) had two runs and three hits.
Game 3: Moline, Ill., 15, Branford, Conn., 7
Trailing 5-2 after the third inning, Moline, Ill., scored 13 runs over the next five innings to capture the win.
Moline 18-year-old left fielder Eric Ashcraft started the game with a solo home run and finished the game 5-6 at the plate with five RBIs. The fans enjoyed another home run during the third inning from Branford designated hitter Pat Simone. Simone went 2-4 and had three RBIs.
Moline ended its 5-2 deficit by scoring 12 runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Moline had 22 hits at the end of the game, achieving a Legion World Series record set in 2006.
Branford (28-8) had seven runs and 12 hits.
Game 4: Eden Prairie, Minn., 13, Roseburg, Ore., 6
Eden Prairie, Minn., scored its first four runs in the third inning and didn't stop, picking up its 36th win of the season against Roseburg, Ore.
In the third inning, Eden Prairie second baseman Tony Skjefte singled up the middle for an RBI, single RBI, his first of five for the game. But Roseburg made it close in the sixth inning, when right fielder Mitch Huff hit a three-run triple to close the score to 9-5. However, Eden Prairie held down the lead for the remainder to claim the win.
Eden Prairie (36-7) had 13 runs and 18 hits. Roseburg (33-14) had six runs and 10 hits.
Today's schedule (games begin at 1 p.m. EST)Game one: Kernersville, N.C. vs. Branford, Conn.Game two: Chesapeake, Va. vs. Roseburg, Ore.Game three: Las Vegas vs. Moline, Ill.Game four: Midwest City, Okla. vs. Eden Prairie, Minn.
All games here.