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Post 39 wins opener before bowing out of American Legion state tourney

Contact Reporterkholtzman@vagazette.com

Williamsburg Post 39's season concluded Thursday in the American Legion State Baseball Senior Tournament at James Wood High in Winchester as the Wildflowers fell 4-1 to Springfield Post 176.

Post 39 started the eight-team, double-elimination tournament in impressive, walk-off fashion against host Winchester Post 21 before being dropped to the losers' bracket with a narrow defeat to Lynchburg Post 16.

Post 39 manager Doug Mitchell said throughout the season that this group built chemistry quicker than most and the results often reflected the camaraderie as the Wildflowers tore through their District 3 schedule before reaching the championship game of the combined postseason tournament between districts two and three.

Post 39 returned to the state tournament after missing out last season in Mitchell's first year as skipper.

"This was probably one of the best state tournaments Post 39 has had," Mitchell said. It was definitely one of the best appearances we have had since I've been coaching here for about seven or eight years now."

The game never got away from the Wildflowers in the elimination defeat to Springfield but the Williamsburg side only registered one hit, by Ethan Currin, as Adam Slyter and Mitchell Metheney worked on the mound.

One of the highlights of the tournament for Post 39 was a walk-off line drive to right field by catcher Kevin Mooney, who will suit up for Georgia State in the fall, in the opening 7-6 win over Winchester.

Matt Lansford and Blake Sawyer each had a pair of hits in that one and pitcher Wyatt Delong punched out six batters in 6.2 innings of work to set up another classic against Lynchburg that ended in an 11-10 loss for Post 39.

The Wildflowers forced extra innings when Zach Calloway, who took third base on a sacrifice bunt by Sawyer, stole home with one out.

"The first two games were absolutely outstanding," Mitchell said. "Some of the best baseball I have ever been involved with. The kids played really hard. Both of those games were exciting. I don't think the kids have anything to hang their heads about."

Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.

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