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Leesburg Rangers bounce back with consecutive wins

The Leesburg Rangers are 2-1 through three games as the host team in the 2017 American Legion Mid-Atlantic Region Senior Baseball Tournament.—Courtesy Photo
After dropping their opening game of the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Region Senior Baseball Tournament. the 2016 regional champion Post 34 Leesburg Rangers have rattled off consecutive wins to advance to Saturday's portion of the double-elimination tournament.

Following a 6-2 win against Wesleyville (Pa.) Thursday, the Rangers staved off elimination Friday with a thrilling 9-8 victory in 11 innings versus Delaware state champion Wilmington.

Leesburg jumped out quick Friday at Fireman's Field in Purcellville, pushing four runs across in the home half of the first inning. Tim Holdredge, Greyson Rauch, Connor Miller and Kyle Howard each drove home a run as the Rangers built at 4-0 lead.

Wilmington would come back to take leads of 6-4 and 8-7, only to see Leesburg answer each time. Trailing 8-7 in the eighth inning, Rauch's sacrifice fly scored Patrick Burke with the tying run in a game that eventually went to extra innings.

The score remained that way until the bottom of the 11th inning. Miller drew a one-out walk and scored two batters later when Burke hit into a fielder's choice to plate the decisive run.

Nick Lockhart earned the pitching win in relief for the Rangers. Lockhart and starter Cameron Taylor each pitched five-plus inning, combining to strike out six and allow five earned runs.

Rauch led Post 34 with four RBIs, while Alex Bernarding, Hunter Keim and Holdredge each scored a pair of runs.

Leesburg will play either Hopewell (N.J.) or Ephrata (Pa.) in the loser's bracket final Saturday at 1 p.m.

The championship game of the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Region Senior Baseball Tournament is scheduled for Sunday. All games are being played at Fireman's Field.

The tournament champion will represent the Mid-Atlantic Region at the 2017 American Legion World Series, slated for Aug. 10-15 in Shelby, N.C.


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