It may not have been a redemption tour for League City (Tex.) Post 554 this season.
But after coming one win away from making the 2022 American Legion World Series semifinals, Post 554 and its left-handed pitcher Jacob Cyr wouldn’t be denied in 2023.
Cyr threw a no-hitter — only the third of its kind in ALWS history — in the opening game of the 2023 ALWS, and pitched a second shutout in the final game to give League City the first ALWS championship in team and Texas state history.
For his efforts, Cyr was named 2023 George W. Rulon American Legion Player of the Year. He went 3-0 with 21 strikeouts while yielding 19 hits, six runs and two walks in 24 innings in regional and ALWS play.
“He pitched his butt off both games here and really he’s done that all season,” League City centerfielder Kyeler Thompson said of Cyr. “It’s an honor to play behind him.”
In last Thursday’s tournament opener that was delayed 105 minutes by a morning rainstorm, Cyr yielded only a leadoff walk in the fourth inning of his 4-0 no-hit victory over Cheyenne (Wyo.) Post 6.
Then in Tuesday’s championship game against Lincoln (Neb.) Post 3, Cyr yielded hits in five of the seven innings, and six hits overall, but walked none and only once did a runner get as far as third base.
“You know when you put Cyr on the mound, you’re going to be competitive,” League City coach Ronnie Oliver said of his pitcher.
Defensive plays, including two by Cyr himself, helped keep Lincoln off the scoreboard Tuesday.
Rightfielder Ayden Roecker-Allen made a diving grab for an out in the first inning and left fielder Erik Anchondo also had a diving grab in the sixth.
And twice in the fourth inning, Cyr made plays that led to outs. He snagged a grounder with a runner on second base with one out and threw him out trying to advance to second and later caught a hard line drive for the final out of the inning with Lincoln runners on first and third base.
“It just felt good having my teammates behind me and I had my trust in them,” Cyr said of the defensive support he received.
According to Cyr, League City was confident both years it came to Shelby and now Post 554 will enter the 2024 American Legion Baseball season as a defending champion.
“We actually felt good about winning this in both years,” Cyr said. “It feels really good to get the first title in our state’s history. It means a lot.”