It was "Back to the Future" day for Idaho Falls, Idaho, Post 56 Monday morning at the American Legion World Series.
Just as Idaho Falls had done two years ago when it won the first ALWS title in Idaho history, the Post 56 Bandits resumed a suspended game in which it had trailed to finish strong for a victory.
On Monday, in a game that resumed at 10:02 a.m. local time in Shelby, N.C. — and 8:02 a.m. Idaho time — Idaho Falls' offense banged out 11 hits on its way to a 13-3, six-inning victory over Beverly, Mass., Post 331 to advance into a semifinal game against Stars Division champion Tupelo, Miss., that started shortly after their win.
Idaho Falls finished as runner-up to Dubuque County, Iowa, in the Stripes Division; Dubuque County was to meet Honolulu in Monday's second semifinal matchup. The 2021 ALWS title game is slated for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
"We just came out and did our job," Idaho Falls coach Ryan Alexander said. "We knew they (Beverly) had a great hitting team and our pitcher (Bradley Thompson) did a great job holding them down."
In the 2019 championship game, Idaho Falls trailed Fargo, N.D., Post 2 by a 2-1 margin in the second inning before play was suspended until the following morning at 10 a.m. local time. Idaho Falls changed pitchers and went on to a 5-3 victory that gave the state of Idaho its first-ever ALWS champion.
This time, Alexander changed pitchers again with Idaho Falls trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the first inning.
Post 56 tied the score at 2 in the third on Kai Howell's two-out RBI double then broke the game open with five in the fourth inning, three in the fifth and three in the sixth.
The fourth inning rally all came with two outs; Nate Rose (one-run single), Eliot Jones (two-run double) and Mac Jephson (one-run single) were big hits in the uprising.
Idaho Falls tacked on three unearned runs in the fifth as Rose and Jephson had RBI singles.
And Chandler Robinson's bases-loaded hit batter and sacrifice flies by Bradley Thompson and Rose drove in the sixth inning runs.
Jephson (three hits, two RBIs), Kai Howell (three hits, one RBI) and Rose (two hits, three RBIs) led Idaho Falls' offense and Thompson relieved when the game resumed and yielded two hits and one run in 5 1-3 innings.
For Beverly, whose season ended at 18-4, Lee Pacheco, Brennan Frost and Nicholas Fox each had one hit and one RBI.