Above: Matt Ayers, seen here in a file photo, helped Charter Cove Post 755
to another win Sunday at the American Legion state tournament in Yountivlle.
American Legion Charter Cove Post 755, which swept through the Area 6 playoffs last week,, has continued its winning ways at the California State tournament, scoring its second consecutive victory on Sunday with a 5-4 victory over defending champion Merced in a winner’s bracket game at Cleve Borman Field in Yountville.
Here’s a story from team manager John Sherrard:
By John Sherrard
YOUNTVILLE– Jake Bailey lined a base-loaded single in the ninth inning and Charter Cove Post 755 advanced to the winner’s bracket semifinals Sunday with a 5-4 victory over defending champion Merced Post 83 in a second-round game at the American Legion State baseball championship tournament.
Charter Cove (22-4) will play 4th Area champion Paramount today at noon. The winner will advance to Tuesday’s championship round. Both the California champion and runner-up advance to the Legion Western sub-regionals in either Fairfield or Medford, Ore.
“That was a gutsy performance by our team and to win it like we did just proves that we can play with anyone in the state,” Charter Cove Jon Garkow said.
Bailey, a 2009 Charter Oak High School graduate, lined a single just past the Merced third baseman to give Post 755 another shot at a state American Legion title.
Merced and San Bernardino Post 14 play today at 9 a.m. and the winner will play the loser of the Charter Cove/Paramount game at 3 p.m.
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere, hoping they (Merced) would make a mistake,” Bailey said. “Kenny (Kissell) was throwing his heart out and (Ryan) Snow stepped up big and I just didn’t want to let them down.
Bailey also two two doubles and went 3 for 4.
Kissell , who also won last weekend at the 6th Area playoffs, struck out five and collected two hits with an RBI.
“I’m pumped,” Kissell said. “It’s the biggest win of our program and I’m glad I was a part of it.
“They were a really good hitting team and probably one of the best teams I’ve seen this year.”
Bailey, with Charter Cove trialing 3-0 in the third, hit a two-run double, followed by an RBI single by Kissell to tie the score at 3.
Jake Loefke, an Azusa High graduate who played at East Los Angeles College this past spring, had two hits and scored a run for Charter Cove.
Post 755, after trailing 4-3 in the sixth, tied the score when first baseman Matt Ayers scored from third on a double play.
“That (game-winning hit) was a big-time hit by a big-time player,” Charter Oak baseball coach and assistant Legion coach Tom Quinley said. “This is the biggest win in the six years of my association with American Legion baseball.”
Charter Cove closer Ryan Snow, with the score tied at 4, pitched the final two innings and struck out Cal State Fullerton-bound player Dylan Floro to end a Merced threat in the ninth inning. Snow then contributed in the ninth with a single to help ignite the winning rally.