P-31 juniors earn playoff win

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Eric Rowell

For The Lancaster News

The Lancaster Post 31 juniors team needed extra innings and key hitting to win game one of the American Legion first-round playoff series with Post 20 of Greenwood.

Lancaster Post 31, the runner-up in Region V, hosted game one of the best-of-three playoff series with Greenwood, from Region VII on Monday night at Harvey Eggleton Field.

Lancaster appeared to be in control, with a 4-1 lead after five complete innings of play, but a scrappy Greenwood team refused to throw in the towel and was able to produce three runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at four.

Greenwood, behind the pitching of Ryan Franklin, didn’t allow another Lancaster base runner until the bottom of the eighth inning. Lancaster’s Trey Rollings led off the inning with a ground rule double over the left field fence. Byron Haigler followed with a single that moved Rollings to third with no outs. Logan Lucas’ RBI scored Rollings from third for the walk off win, giving Post 31 a one game lead in the best-of-three series.

“Trey came through when we needed it most and sparked a big inning,” said coach Paul Caskey. “This is a big win for us; going up one game in this series is crucial.”

Greenwood jumped out to an early lead on an unearned run in the first inning. Greenwood’s Franklin kept Lancaster’s bats at bay, by giving up only two hits and striking out nine.

Lancaster was able to take advantage of some control problems of Franklin, who walked seven Lancaster batters. Post 31’s Dalton Haven scored from third on a Franklin wild pitch that tied the game at one in the bottom of the third inning.

Lancaster added three more runs in their half of the fourth inning. Post 31 loaded the bases with no outs and back-to-back wild pitches scored Andrew Caskey and Trey Rollings. A Brady Horton RBI single scored Haigler to cap the three-run inning.

Lancaster loaded the bases again in the fifth inning, but Greenwood’s double play ball ended a potential big inning for Lancaster and gave Post 20 the momentum it needed.

Greenwood’s Rich DeTreville had a two-run double to spark Greenwood in a three-run sixth to tie the game at four each

Eric Miles pitched five complete innings for Lancaster, allowing four hits, striking out six and walking four.

Dillon Sistare pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs. Haigler recorded the win ,pitching the final inning.

Horton, Miles, Haigler and Lucas each had a hit for Lancaster. Rollings had a double and scored two runs for Post 31.

“We are going to have our hands full playing at their place,” Caskey said. “We committed too many errors tonight; we have to tighten up to keep winning.”

The best-two-out-of three series moves to Greenwood for game two Tuesday night.

If a third and final game is needed, it will be played at Lancaster’s Harvey Eggleton Field at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

P-31 seniors

drop first game

Post 31 senior team opened first-round playoff action on the road at Greenwood and came up short in a 3-2 contest.

Greenwood scored one run in their second, third and fourth innings to take a 3-0 lead after four complete innings.

Lancaster got on the board with two runs in the fifth inning, but was unable to plate another run the rest of the way.

Dustin Eddins and Trevor Cauthen had a combined effort on the mound for Post 31.

“Dustin and Trevor did a great job for us tonight,” coach Gavin Flynn said. “We just could not pull it out tonight.”

Austin Caskey and Brady Collins each had a hit for Lancaster. Evan Flynn had two hits and two RBI’s. Caskey and Corley Faulkenberry each scored a run for Post 31.

Game two of the best three of five was scheduled for Tuesday night in Lancaster at Harvey Eggleton field.