ALWS Game 1: Michigan rallies past Virginia

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Midland (Mich.) Post 165 found itself in a familiar position in the American Legion World Series in Game 1 Thursday in Shelby, N.C.

At the Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium complex that has been the scene of eight of Post 165’s ALWS appearances in the last 15 seasons, Midland was locked in a low-scoring game against Chesapeake (Va.) Post 280.

And after losing three straight one-run decisions in the ALWS, it was Post 165’s time to enjoy the other side as it rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh for a 5-4 victory to open the 95th American Legion World Series.

“We’ve lost some 2-1, 3-2 games in the last few years here,” said Midland coach Dan Cronkright, whose team lost twice by 3-2 scores in the 2021 ALWS. “So we were just determined to keep grinding it out and not getting down despite being behind.”

Post 280 helped Midland’s cause with two errors that started the seventh-inning rally and Tyler Smith, Zack Parker and Braylen Laverty each had RBI singles, with Parker and Laverty getting their scores after two were out.

“It was some weird plays,” Cronkright said. “That’s some of the things that can happen in the seventh inning, though. The best thing we did was keep the ball in play.”

After the three-run rally, Midland reliever Trent Johnson closed out the victory by retiring three of the four batters he faced; Johnson struck out three and yielded one walk and two hits in three innings.

Chesapeake (19-4) had taken a 4-2 lead off Midland starter Brody Krzysiak in a four-run fourth inning highlighted by Cooper Newell’s RBI double and Nick Valentine’s three-run double.

“Our pitching was pretty darn good today except for one bad inning,” Cronkright said.

Krzysiak, who picked up a win in Post 165’s Great Lakes Regional title run, struck out four and walked three in his four innings.

Parker’s three hits and Laverty’s two led Midland’s eight-hit offense.

“We really didn’t have many opportunities,” said Cronkright, whose team scored its first two runs in the top of the fourth. “That No. 9 (Max McCrary) did a good job for them for 6 1-3 innings. He’s a fine pitcher.”

Valentine’s two hits led Chesapeake and McCrary finished with four strikeouts while allowing five hits, one walk and three unearned runs.


American Legion Baseball

American Legion Baseball

American Legion Baseball enjoys a reputation as one of the most successful and tradition-rich amateur athletic leagues. Today, the program registers more than 5,400 teams in all 50 states, including Canada and Puerto Rico.

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