The two finalists in the American Legion World Series both finished second in their respective divisions in pool play.
But facing undefeated opposition in Monday’s semifinals, both Las Vegas Post 40 and Wilmington (Del.) Post 1 rode strong starting pitching to victory.
Wilmington showed its resolve after a near historic pitching performance from Jack Dubecq nearly ended in an epic collapse. Dubecq was perfect through six innings Monday night, but Midland (Mich.) Post 165 rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh and force extra innings.
But Wilmington (37-4) scored the only run in extra innings and has a chance to become the first Delaware team in history to win the ALWS championship.
“We’ve heard a lot of firsts about Delaware since we’ve been here, but I think our minds are on we want to be the first one to win. We want to win it. That’s what we’re here to do,” Wilmington coach Brent Treml said.
Las Vegas (50-16) can draw on an experienced perspective in their bid for a title: assistant coach Robert Persona was also an assistant for last year’s champions, also sponsored by Post 40 but a different group of players from a different high school.
“Considering what happened last year, how Basic won it, I think we have a really good shot at winning it,” Las Vegas pitcher/first baseman Jimmy Gamboa said.
Las Vegas is looking to become the third team from Nevada to win the ALWS, joining last year’s champions and Post 76, which won in 2008.
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