by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
The Kilmarnock American Legion Adams Post 86 baseball team finished a successful first season as the runner-up in the American Legion State Baseball Senior Tournament.
“The coaches couldn’t be more proud of the effort these boys put in,” said coach Tom Kleinfelter.” This state tournament was filled with tremendous talent and Post 86 was up to the task. We came in as underdogs and we shocked everyone. They all know where the Northern Neck is now.”
Comprised of players from Lancaster, Northumberland, Essex, Middlesex and Richmond counties and coached by Bruce Northern, Russell Haynie and T. Kleinfelter, Adams Post 86 won the district tournament two weeks ago to advance to state play in Winchester.
In the first round of the state tournament, Post 86 got by Post 280 from Chesapeake, 4-2, in a 10-inning battle. Nick Wohleking pitched 4 1/3 innings for Post 86, giving up five hits, walking three and striking out three. Matthew Kleinfelter entered the game in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and retired three straight batters to end the Post 280 threat. M. Kleinfelter went 5 2/3 innings, giving up two hits, no walks and fanning six.
Post 86 broke the 2-2 knot, scoring two runs for the win.
Tyler West and Justin Langford had two hits each to lead Post 86’s offense.
Post 86 11
Post 175 6
Post 86 upset previously undefeated Post 175 from Mechanicsville, 11-6, in the second game.
Spencer Crittenden started on the mound for Post 86 and “turned in a tremendous effort against a powerful Mechanicsville team,” said T. Kleinfelter. “Crittenden kept Post 175 off balance all day.”
He pitched five innings, allowing five hits, walking six and striking out four. Joseph Pierson pitched the final two innings, allowing two hits, walking four and striking out one.
Hunter Shackleford, Zach Swift, M. Kleinfelter and Crittenden each had multiple hits.
Post 180 15
Post 86 1
Post 180 of Vienna beat Post 86, 15-1, in the championship game.
“The Vienna team was more experienced and a team of college players,” said T. Kleinfelter.
Post 86 went through its pitching staff in the loss with Nick Bayse, Max Steorts, M. Kleinfelter and Swift all getting time on the mound.
West recorded two hits to lead the offense for Post 86.