Excelsior escapes, will play South for BP championship
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 8, 2018
Semifinal #2: Excelsior (MN) 4, Columbia (TN) 4
*Excelsior advances on tiebreaker of higher seed
In a back and forth game that had the feeling of a Legion playoff game, it seemed fitting that these two national powers tied in the semifinals of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.
Under different circumstances, the game would have continued. But with a 2-hour, 15-minute time limit reached, Excelsior advanced to the championship game as a result of being a higher seed. Excelsior was the No. 1 seed out of Pool B, whereas Columbia was the No. 2 seed out of Pool A.
Hardly an ideal ending, but both teams should be congratulated after treating fans to an excellent baseball game.
It was a rematch of last week’s Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament final in Kenai, won 4-0 by Columbia.
The game’s final out had plenty of drama with big Andy Hale at the plate and the tying run at third base and the winning run at first base.
Jared Wandersee got Hale to ground out to end the threat and send Excelsior back to the championship game. It felt like a save.
Excelsior’s Will Sturek came up big for his club. In the second inning, he doubled and scored to put Post 259 up 2-1. In the fifth inning he drove in a run with an RBI single that tied the game at 3-3.
This is the first time Columbia won't win the BP title in four trips to Alaska after claiming championships in 2016, 2014 and 2012.
Columbia (TN) 011 010 10 - 4 8 0
Excelsior (MN) 110 020 0x - 4 9 2
Columbia - Mealer, James (5) and Massey. Excelsior - Wukmir, LaLonde (5), Wandersee (8) and Stoler, Masui (8). 2B - Joslin (C), Sturek (E). 3B - Will McCall (C). HR - None.
Semifinal #1: South 3, West 2
Jacob Woodall laced the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Reid Brock from second base and lift Post 4 to victory in the semifinals of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.
The extra-inning victory propelled South into the tournament championship game for the first time since 2014.
South won the game, but West’s Luke Langnes stole the show.
The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and drove in both runs to give West a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, South’s Lian Lincoln broke up the no-no with a clean infield single into the hole between third and short. He stole second and later scored on an error and just like that the no-hitter and shutout were gone.
Josh Costello tied the game 2-2 with an RBI groundout.
The game stayed even until the eighth inning, when with one out, Brock reached on an error and advanced to second on Costello’s base hit. Langnes struck out the next batter for the second out before being lifted for a reliever.
Woodall was the next batter and ripped a game-winning single to give South its second walkoff win in four games during the BP Invitational.
West 000 101 00 - 2 7 4
South 000 002 01 - 3 4 1
West - Langnes, Benitez and Danmeyer. South - Hultberg, DeLesline (6) and Mohl. W - DeLesline. L - Langnes. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.