The Gladwin American Legion Post 171 Baseball Team went 2-2 in the eight-team 2022 Great Lakes Regional American Legion Tournament held at Northwood University in Midland this past weekend. Teams participating in the tournament were Yeager-Benson, OH-Post 199; Moline, IL-Post 246; Eau Claire, WI-Post 53; Aviston, WI-Post 1239; Manitowoc, WI-Post 88; Muncie, IN-Post 19; Berryhill, MI-Post 165; and Gladwin, MI-Post 171.
Post 171 finished in the final four of the regional tournament and in the top 32 teams in the country. Post 171 Team Manager Terry Brokoff said, “I’m very proud of how hard our players have worked to represent Michigan in our Great Lakes Regional. We would have liked to be one of the eight teams left standing after the regionals and going to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, NC but it wasn’t to be.”
Results of the regional championship tournament game one on Thursday saw Post 171 defeat Muncie Post 19 by the score of 11-1 in six innings. Alex Duley was the winning pitcher, going for three innings, giving up one run, on two hits, seven strikeouts and two walks. Connor Dee pitched the final three innings allowing zero runs, on two hits, three strikeouts and three walks.
Leading hitters for Post 171 were Cole Prout with a two-run triple and a solo home run, three RBIs and one run scored. Blaise Millar was two for four, with two RBIs, and three runs scored; Ben Kochany was two for four, with two runs scored; Colin Sackrider was one for three, with one RBI and one run scored; Lucas Mead was one for three, with one RBI; Tyler McKinstry was one for two, with one RBI; Lincoln McKinnon was oen for one, with one run scored; Micah Irrer had three walks and scored two runs; Addison Vallad scored one run.
In the second game on Thursday, Post 171 defeated the Moline Post 246, 6-2. Post 171 was down 2-0 after one inning and didn’t take the lead until the top of the seventh inning when they scored four runs. Max Fellows got the win going for six innings, giving up two runs, one earned on four hits, four strikeouts and three walks. McKinstry pitched the seventh inning allowing zero hits, zero runs, one strikeout and one walk.
Leading hitters for Post 171 were Carter Campau with a single and a triple, one RBI, and one run scored; Brady Alverson was three for four, with two RBIs; Kochany had a double in three ABs, one RBI, and one run scored; Mead was one for four, with one run scored; Irrer had two RBIs and one run scored; Prout had two runs scored; Millar, Sackrider and Vallad each had a single.
The third game played on Friday was the winner’s bracket final. This game saw Post 171 lose to Berryhill Post 165, 11-6. Quin Konuszewski pitched for the first four innings, giving up 10 runs on only four earned, eight hits, four strikeouts and five walks. McKinnon pitched the last inning in relief, giving up one hit and one run.
Leading hitters for Post 171 were Irrer with a double and two singles in four ABs and one run scored. Alverson was two for four, including a triple and one RBI. Prout had a double and one run scored; Mead and Millar each had a single, with one RBI and one run scored; Sackrider had a single and one run scored; Vallad had a single and one RBI; Campau had one RBI and one run scored; and Kochany had one RBI.
On Saturday, in the loser’s bracket final game, Post 171 lost to Yeager/Benson Post 199, 5-4. Post 171 was up 3-0 going into the bottom of the third inning when Yeager/Benson scored two runs and then tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Post 171 took the lead back with one run in the top of the sixth inning, but Yeager/Benson scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to win the game.
McKinstry pitched for Post 171 all 6 innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on nine hits, two strikeouts and three walks.
Leading hitters were Mead with a triple, one RBI and one run scored; Irrer had a double and two runs scored; Kochany and Sackrider each had a hit, one RBI, and one run scored; Vallad had a single and one run scored; Alverson and Campau each had a single.
Berryhill Post 165 won the Great Lakes Regional and now advances to American Legion World Series in Shelby, NC with pool play (games on ESPN3) starting on Thursday, semifinal games Monday evening on ESPNU and Championship game Tuesday evening on ESPNU.
Congratulations once, again, for all the Gladwin Post 171 players’ and coaches’ dedication and hard work in continuing to make this program a success as they finished this season with a 31-8-1 record. The team finished two wins away from going to the world series and won five tournaments this summer. Post 171 has 12 players going on to play college baseball at the next level. Ten players are eligible to come back and play for the team nest summer.
“I’m very proud of all of our players, their teamwork and dedication to each other,” said Team Manager Brokoff. “Also, a big thank you to all of our coaches, without their hard work and support we wouldn’t be known as one of the best American Legion Team in Michigan. This is the 31st year for our Gladwin Post 171 Program which includes the sponsorship of two teams, the Class ‘A’ Gladwin Lightning (Gladwin and Beaverton players) and the Gladwin Post 171 Class ‘AA’ Team made up of the best players in the Gladwin and surrounding areas. In conclusion, I wish to thank the individuals, community, and businesses for their tremendous support of our program, for without you, we could not have succeeded.”
Gladwin American Legion Baseball will be starting their raffle sales this September and their winter party for “The Boys of Summer” fundraiser on February 4 in 2023. These are the best ways to show your support for the team, as they receive their funding directly from all sales for each event.