SHELBY, N.C. — It was an ideal night for ducks and salamanders, not baseball.
Yet Gauthier & Amedee and Wilmington, N.C. battled through the wet field. Gauthier & Amedee’s 6-5 win might not have been a thing of beauty but kept them undefeated in the American Legion World Series.
Gauthier & Amedee (48-4-2) will square off against Brooklawn, N.J., at 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the winners bracket final. Wilmington (35-3) will face Waipahu, Hawaii, in an elimination game at 5 p.m., following the 1 p.m. matchup between Petaluma, Calif., and Burnsville, Minn.
The Louisiana state champs had just five hits but their bunting and running attack kept the pressure on and the result was six unearned runs.
“We just had to keep playing our way,” said Gauthier & Amedee catcher Steven Bright. “The crowd was really loud and with them being the home team, we just couldn’t be worried about anything outside the white lines.”
The way the contest unfolded had Wilmington coach Scott Handlin shaking his head.
“He (Bryan Sammons) pitched well and deserved better,” said Handlin. “We had enough mistakes, and we hadn’t done that in a long time. But I was proud of our guys. With everything that happened, they battled back and got it to 6-5.”
Sammons still hasn’t given up an earned run in 22.1 innings in Legion regional and series tournaments.
But G&A got 6.2 innings from winning pitcher Austin Millet. Plus, relief work from Tyler Robertson to nail down the win.
Bright also had a key play, running back in front of the grandstand wall to make a sliding catch for the third out, leaving two runners stranded in the eighth.
“I’ve been playing for a long time, and I just wanted to make a play for my team,” Bright said. “It was perfect (the distance) to slide, and it dropped right in. My feet touched the wall.”
Given the soggy conditions, Bright had his hands full working with his pitchers.
“I just told them to get a ball they liked, and throw it through me,” he said. “I stayed on them. I didn’t want them thinking about anything else but staying on me.”
G&A got two hits apiece from Collin Delaune and Devin Speligene, who also had three RBIs. Wilmington’s Chance and Shane Shepard had two hits apiece.
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