Idaho denies Ashland spot in title game

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — After losing their opening game in the American Legion Northwest A Regional Tournament, the Ashland Pilots got on a run with three straight victories.

When Ashland pulled even to erase a 5-0 deficit against the Bear Lake Bears of Idaho in Tuesday's semifinals, it appeared the Pilots had found the magic again.

But it wasn't meant to be as Bear Lake denied the Pilots a spot in the championship game with a 10-5 victory at Mulcahy Field.

The Bears went on to take the championship with a 6-5 win over the Box Elder Bees of Utah.

"We didn't play very well and they did," said Pilots manager Dave Sebrell about his team's performance against Bear Lake. "We couldn't get that two-out hit. We stranded a lot of base runners."

The Pilots outhit Bear Lake, 15-14, but more telling was the 13 runners they left on base.

The Bears led 5-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning before the Pilots bunched together six hits to tie the game at 5-all.

Sam Gaviglio and Luke Jannusch opened the Ashland rally with consecutive singles. The Pilots finally broke through against Bears starter Cameron Crane on Danny Meza's two-run double. Run-scoring singles by Max Gordon and Lewis Sebrell were sandwiched around Ian Kendall's RBI triple to account for three more runs.

Unfortunately for Ashland, the Bears answered right back with four runs in the seventh and Crane blanked the Pilots over the final three innings to post a complete-game victory.

"We finally got some big hits," Dave Sebrell said. "We had all the momentum in the world but just couldn't hold it."

Lewis Sebrell went 4-for-5 to pace the Ashland offense. Meza contributed a pair of doubles in three at-bats, while Gordon, Jannusch and Gaviglio also had two hits each.

Ashland finished third in the tournament with a 3-2 mark and completed the season with a 38-12 record.

"The first-game loss to Montana put us in a hole," Dave Sebrell said. "That loss came back to hurt us because we couldn't have a bad game. We had no margin of error.

"We had a good long run here," added the elder Sebrell. "We got so close it hurts. It just didn't happen for us."

Bear Lake Bears 300 011 410 — 10 14 1

Ashland Pilots 000 005 000 — 5 15 1

Crane and Smith; C. Sebrell, Stone (7), Tygerson (7) and L. Sebrell. W — Crane. L — C. Sebrell. 2B — BL: Cook 2; A: Meza 2. 3B — A: Kendall.

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