The second round of The American Legion World Series featured five home runs, four wins and hundreds of excited fans.
Game 5: Kernersville, N.C., 8, Branford, Conn., 6
After losing to Las Vegas Friday, Kernersville, N.C., came back full swing with an 8-6 win over Branford, Conn.
As the first inning got under way, Kernersville scored two runs within in the first three pitches, getting a two-run home run from Brandon Harrison. He finished with two RBIs, as did teammates Evan Orenstein and Corey McKinney.
"It's great to be back on the right side of the score board," Kernersville manager Chad Lofton said. "Our guys played well; we just need to figure out how we're running out of gas at the end of the game. And we never panic with this crowd as we've been in this situation quite a few times with the playoffs - w e lost our first game in the state tournament to come back and take the overall win. The players respond well, we are glad to be here, and we are not ready to go home."
While Kernersville held a 5-0 lead into the fifth inning, Branford hustled and scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth but never gained enough run to take the win.
"We just came out today knowing we had to win," said Kernersville second baseman Nathan Becker. "We put out some runs early, and that was big. Whenever we get on top early we tend to hang into it even though Branford battled all day."
Kernersville (35-15) had eight runs and 14 hits. Branford (28-9) had six runs and nine hits.
Game 6: Roseburg, Ore., 11, Chesapeake, Va., 10
Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning with an 8-4 deficit, Roseburg, Ore., scored six runs to lift the team to an 11-10 comeback victory over Chesapeake, Va.
Down four runs and with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Roseburg third baseman Jered Stoffal delivered a groundout RBI. Teammate Johnny Farrington later followed with a two-run single to tie the game. With Roseburg players and fans on their feet cheering about the comeback, Cameron Newell took the inning to the next level with a two-run home run.
"When I saw the ball go over the stadium it was a great feeling," Newell said. "Coming back (from the deficit) felt great because it was a bad game from the start, but by the seventh inning we finally got some stuff going. It was like we couldn't get over that hump, but when we tied it up it was almost like we got the monkey off our back. We needed that one little burst to get over the hump."
Roseburg pitcher Brandon Jackson picked up the win, Chesapeake's Matt Dickason hit two home runs, while Josh Carter was 3-4 with three RBIs.
Roseburg (34-14) had 11 runs and 12 hits. Chesapeake (29-8) had 10 runs and 12 hits.
Game 7: Las Vegas, 12, Moline, Ill., 2
Las Vegas owned the field for day two of the Legion World Series, as the team triumphed Moline, Ill., 12-2 in a 10-run rule-shortened game.
Las Vegas led 7-0 until Moline came back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. But Las Vegas came back with five runs over the next two innings to end the game.
The winning team's designated hitter, Julian Cutolo, picked up five RBIs - the highest for the game - while going 3-4 at the plate. Dusty Stevens picked up the win for Vegas.
Las Vegas (48-15) had 12 runs and 13 hits. Moline (42-8) had two runs and 9 hits.
Game 8: Eden Prairie, Minn., 9, Midwest City, Okla., 6
Eden Prairie, Minn., defended the lead for nine innings, taking its second win in the Legion World Series by beating Midwest City, Okla., 9-6.
Eden Prairie scored two runs in the first, third, sixth and eighth innings, while pitcher Caleb Phillips delivered on the mound and at the plate. He hit a solo home run, going 2-3 at the plate with three RBIs. He also allowed just one earned run in seven and two-thirds innings.
"Something we pride ourselves on is our pitching and our defense, and we got both today as Caleb (Phillips) threw a great game," said Eden Prairie manager Scott Hackett.
Eden Prairie (37-7) had nine runs and 12 hits. Midwest City (62-10) had six runs and 11 hits.
Today's schedule (games begin at 4 p.m. EST)Game 9: Roseburg, Ore., vs. Moline, Ill.Game 10: Kernersville, N.C., vs. Midwest City, Okla.Game 11: Las Vegas vs. Eden Prairie, Minn.
(Watch all games here)