ALWS Game 9: Massachusetts advances to semifinals

View Photo Gallery

Shrewsbury (Mass.) Post 397 punched the first ticket to the 2022 American Legion World Series semifinals on Saturday night.

Post 397 knocked off Camden (S.C.) Post 17, 4-1, in Saturday’s final game to earn a berth as one of the top two teams in the Stars Division by finishing pool play with a 2-1 record.

Shrewsbury, which had won just one game in its first two ALWS appearances in 2017 and 2019, will find out its seeding after Sunday’s 1 p.m. game between Troy (Ala.) Post 70 and League City (Tex.) Post 554. A Troy win would make Shrewsbury the No. 2 seed with a 4 p.m. Monday semifinal matchup. A League City win would make Shrewsbury the No. 1 seed with a 7 p.m. Monday semifinal matchup.

Troy beat Shrewsbury on Thursday, 13-1, then Post 397 beat League City, 3-1, on Friday.

“We’re excited to go to the Final Four,” said Shrewsbury coach Frank Vaccaro, whose team improved to 30-7. “No team from Massachusetts has done that in awhile and I’m really proud of them.”

The last Massachusetts team to finish in the top four of the ALWS was East Springfield in 1978 when it finished as runner-up to Hialeah, Fla. Other top four finishers from Massachusetts teams are Worcester (1928, 2nd), Springfield (1932, 2nd), East Lynn (1937, 1st), Brockton (1944, 3rd), Milford (1952, 4th, and 1953, 3rd), Everett (1958, 2nd) and Pittsfield (1960, 3rd).

In the win over Camden, Zachary Amero hit a two-out, two-run home run in the first inning and had a two-out, RBI double in the third to put Shrewsbury ahead 3-0. A.J. Hamm scored three of the runs, reaching on a two-base single in the first, a two-out walk in the second and leadoff walk in the fifth.

Amero’s home run was Post 397’s first home run of the season.

“We don’t hit the ball hard and our kid hits a home run,” Vaccaro said. “It came at a big time for us and our season.”

Post 397 tacked on its final run in the fifth on Chris Pompei’s RBI grounder.

The rest was up to starter and winner David Siciliano and reliever Ryan Sande. Siciliano went six innings and yielded seven hits and one run with two strikeouts before Sande picked up a save by retiring three of the four batters he faced.

“It was pitching and defense,” said Vaccaro, whose pitchers stranded three Camden baserunners in the sixth and two in the seventh. “We had a couple of errors but nothing really hurt us.”

Camden, whose season ended at 23-7, was led by Brent Gibbs (2 hits), Brandon Gibbs (2 hits) and Banks Munn (1 hit, 1 RBI).


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.

Learn more