Post 83 scores 16 to beat Fremont, advances to district title game
Jul 17, 2011 at 12:00 AM
The Sandusky American Legion Post 83 baseball team earned the right to be in the position every Legion team in Ohio wants to be in this time of year: unbeaten in the district tournament on Sunday.
With a 16-9 victory Saturday afternoon against Fremont in the winner's bracket semifinal of the 5th district tournament at Heidelberg's Peaceful Valley Complex, Post 83 (30-7) advanced to today's championship game with no losses in the seven-team, double-elimination field.
Standing in the way of a third trip to the state tournament in four years will be Fremont (23-9), which bounced back from the loss to Sandusky earlier Saturday with an 11-5 victory against Bucyrus (11-11) in the loser's bracket final.
Post 83 will need to beat Fremont once to advance, with the first pitch set for 11 a.m. at Heidelberg. If a second game is needed, it will start after a short break between games.
"It's a great position to be in. It allows you to go out and play your game the way you know you can because the pressure isn't on us," said Post 83's Kyle Fluharty, a senior at Willard.
Fluharty came in for 32/3 innings of relief, allowing one earned run on four hits. He struck out four and walked two. The performance came on the heels of three scoreless innings of relief Wednesday against Avon Lake.
"I felt really good. I've been hitting my spots, and the off-speed has been working pretty good for me," Fluharty said of his pitching. "Especially after what we went through last year, I'm mentally prepared to do anything for this team. I've admittedly had some revenge I had to get myself."
Fremont kept pace with Sandusky early in putting runs on the board, but wasn't able to hold up. Each time Post 121 scored, Post 83 responded by either equaling or scoring more.
Robert Fravel (Port Clinton, 8-1) will start for Post 83, while if a second game is necessary Kendrick Aaron (Sandusky, 7-1) will start. Fremont will likely counter with Jose Leal (Clyde) and Mike Fry (Bellevue).
"The kids love to see people from the community at the games, and it would mean a lot to them for some familiar and even unfamiliar faces in the stands (today)," Shepherd said. "Hopefully we will be able to celebrate with them when the day is over."