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Harrisburg Post 167 builds early lead to hold off late rally by Steeleville

  • Andrew Bittle picked up the win for Post 167 in Monday night's semifinal win over Steeleville at the 5th Division American Legion Tournament in Fairfield.

    Andrew Bittle picked up the win for Post 167 in Monday night's semifinal win over Steeleville at the 5th Division American Legion Tournament in Fairfield.
    Spyder Dann | mdann@dailyregister.com

 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 7/23/2019 10:02 AM

Harrisburg built a lead early and then had to build a dam late as Post 167 held off a late rally by Steeleville to win 7-5 in the semifinals of the 5th Division American Legion Tournament at Fairfield's Veterans Memorial Park Monday afternoon.

Harrisburg put a run in the third inning when Krayton Morse singled to score Brayden Clark.

Post 167 doubled up its lead with three runs on two hits in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead.

After Garrett Rushing led off the inning with a single to center field, Cody Wieseman doubled to score Rushing and Javy Beal singled down the left field to line to score Wieseman and Colby Morse.

In the fifth, Post 167 scored three runs on four hits to hold a 7-0 lead when Krayton Morse led the inning off with a single to right field and Wiseman singled to center to score Morse. Clark doubled down the left field line to score Wiseman and Rushing, who reached on a fielder's choice.

Things got interesting for Post 167 in the sixth when Steeleville put up five runs, chasing Post 167 starter Andrew Bittle.

Bittle went five innings and allowed four runs on four hits, while striking out four and walking four.

Bayden Ditterline came in to replace Bittle and faced six batters, giving up one run on two hits, while striking out one.

In the bottom of the seventh, Nick Walker got Dylan Hill to strike out, but Ethan Eggemeyer hit a ground rule double, which followed Eli Wittenborn to ground out to short, but moving Eggemeyer to third.

With Bradley Mevert representing the tying run at the plate and a 2-2 count, Walker got Mevert to chase a ball in the dirt and give Post 167 the win.

Harrisburg will play either the winner of Odin or Steeleville in Tuesday night's championship game, slated for a 7:30 p.m. start.

A trip to Barrington and the American Legion State Tournament is on the line, a title Harrisburg Post 167 last won in 2001.

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.