WEST FRANKFORT — Tyson Broy scattered five hits and Noah Vance drove in two runs to lead the Orient Express Post 1961 to a 3-1 win to eliminate Murphysboro Post 127 in the semifinals of the American Legion 25th District baseball tournament held at Bill McKee Field on Wednesday.
“Tonight I was just putting the ball in the zone and letting my defense back me up,” Broy said.
The Express (11-7) advanced to the district championship game to face Steeleville (10-4) in the late game Wednesday night.
“Everybody threw the ball well, but they got more timely hits than we did,” said Murphysboro coach Andrew Winters.
Trailing 1-0, the Express finally got on track in the fifth after being held to just three base runners over the first four innings by Corbin Guthman on two hits and a walk.
Guthman hit Austin Tate to open the fifth, but he was thrown out on the next pitch. However, four pitches later, he hit Logan Elko and one out later walked Blake Engler before giving up a hit to right to Matt Reiger to load the bases with two outs.
On a 0-1 pitch, Noah Vance hit a ball to short center to drive in Elko and Engler to give the Express the lead 2-1.
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The Express scored an insurance run in the sixth when Paxton Griffith led off with a double and one out later Elko drove him home with line drive base hit to left center. The Express loaded the bases with two outs, but Ethan Crabtree took over the pitching duties and got Vance on a fly ball to center to end the threat.
After setting down the side in order in the first Broy pitched around a one-out single and a two out walk in the second and gave up a run in third on three hits and an error.
Broy set down the next six batters in a row before giving up a leadoff double to Guthman in the sixth, but stranded him there on a pop out to short, a pop to mound and a foul pop to first base. With a stiff wind that began to blow at the beginning of the seventh Broy pitched around a leadoff walk and a two out single to close out the victory.
“I walked that first kid and then they got a hit, so all I had to do was bear down,” Broy said.
Murphysboro took the early lead with a run in the third. After Aren Abell led off with a single and was erased in a double play Seth Daniels got the rally started with a bloop hit over the second baseman.
Broy then walked Guthman and Ethan Crabtree made him pay with a bloop single to center field to drive in Daniels.