Richland rallies to win Legion state tourney

Richland Post 6 scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth and claimed the American Legion state championship with a 6-2 come-from-behind victory over Gaffney Post 109 Monday at The Winthrop Ballpark.

Four singles, a double, two perfectly executed squeeze bunts and a Gaffney error played a part in the five-run rally that turned the tide for Post 6, which improved to 28-5. The team moved on to the regional tournament in Albany, Ga.

Alston James opened the inning with a single. Robbie Wilcox grounded into a force play and moved to third on a double by Kyle Strasburger. Richard Mounce's single to left scored the first run to tie the contest at 2-2.

Kirk Sims' squeeze bunt plated Strasburger and it was 3-2. Greg Dunston reached on an error before Doug Allen put down another perfect squeeze bunt to make it 4-2. Christopher Daniels capped the rally with a two-run single to left.

Logan Munson, a left-hander who entered the game with one runner on in the sixth, picked up the win. He was dominant in relief. He struck out seven and walked none, not allowing a hit.

Robbie Wilcox started the game for Post 6. He struck out three, walked none and scattered seven hits before he left.

"We have gotten excellent pitching all year," Richland coach Ray Derrick said. "We played good defense in the tournament, and although our hitting was up and down, we seemed to get the hits when we needed them."

Gaffney was playing in its second game of the day. In the earlier contest, it pounded Sumter 14-2 in seven innings to make it to the title game.

"I can not say enough about the way these guys fought back after losing the first game in the tournament," Gaffney coach Jeff Osment said. "We were aggressive at the plate, and we came within one inning of coming back out the loser's bracket the first day to win the tournament."