BRIDGEPORT -- Both Morgantown Post 2 and Fairmont Post 17 were swinging for the fences with the Area 2 American Legion title on the line Saturday. The two teams combined for five home runs (including two grand slams) as Morgantown Post 2 defeated Bridgeport Post 68, 17-7.
Morgantown Post 2's victory sets up a rubber match between the two teams to determine the Area 2 title. The game is scheduled to start Sunday at 6 p.m. at Bridgeport High School.
Ryan Taylor led Morgantown with two home runs, a double, and seven RBI's.
His fourth inning grand slam gave the Monongalia County squad an 8-7 lead. An advantage they never relinquished. Adam Payne also produced an impressive line with a homer, a double, and five RBI's. Adam Klise got the win with five and two/thirds innings of shutout relief. He struck As a team, Morgantown had nine extra base hits.
Chris Liebig and Brian Kemmerer both belted long balls for Bridgeport. Liebig's second inning grand slam built a 7-3 lead for the Harrison Countians. Both teams had scored three runs in the first inning.
Morgantown cut the lead to 7-4 in the fourth inning, and moved in front 8-7 in the fourth on the Taylor slam. They broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth, batting around and scoring five runs. The inning featured five consecutive extra base hits at one point.
Payne's home run in the bottom of the seventh ended the game due to the "mercy rule." There were two outs when the game ended.
A steady rain fell during the final inning, and the wetness intensified afterward. The decision was then made to move the deciding game to Sunday night.
Bridgeport third base coach Dan Sowers was pleased by the decision. "The postponement can only help us. It gives us a day to rest our pitching staff, and hopefully get things going in the right direction. Nothing was going our way tonight" Sowers said. "They hit the ball well, and we made some mistakes. The good news is that they have to beat us twice, so we still have tomorrow to get the job done."
Tonight's winner will advance to the State Tournament in Elkins.