HASTINGS — Three Rivers (Oklahoma) was one strike away from putting First State Bank in the losers’ bracket of the American Legion Mid-South Regional Baseball Tournament on Thursday afternoon.
That strike never came.
FSB rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh and went on to record a 7-4 victory at Duncan Field.
“These kids fought and fought tonight," FSB coach Jeff Hayden said. "They are a fun group to be around because until that third out is made in the last inning, they always feel like they've got a shot. It has been fun to watch our kids battle through adversity."
Brennan Callahan was the hero for FSB. He pitched three scoreless innings of relief of starter Dillon Dix to get the win. He also came up with the hit of the game.
Down 4-3 in the top of the seventh, Jackson Gilfry drew a one-out walk. The Fremont Bergan senior-to-be advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, Three Rivers intentionally walked Brennan’s twin brother, Austin. A walk to Dix loaded the bases. On a 3-2 count, Mitchell Glause walked in a run to tie it.
Brennan Callahan then delivered a single to left that scored his brother and Dix. Another run came in on a wild pitch.
"Brennan did a phenomenal job," Hayden said. "We went to him in relief because we needed somebody to keep the score where it was and he did that. He got us nine huge outs and then he got the big hit. It was nice to see a kid who has been in the program four years have success on a big stage like that."
Brady Benson came in and worked a 1-2-3 seventh to preserve the win.
Three Rivers scored a run in the bottom of the first on Nick Sizemore’s RBI single.
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FSB tied it in the second. Glause singled and moved to second on Brennan Callahan’s sacrifice bunt. After a wild pitch, an error on a ball hit by Camden McKenzie made it 1-1.
The Oklahoma squad got three in the bottom of the third with the help of a RBI double by Boone Lasater and a sacrifice fly by Jayce Roberts.
It stayed 4-1 until the fifth. Dawson Glause and Gilfry drew back-to-back walks to start the inning. A wild pitch advanced the runners before Eli Herink’s ground out brought home Glause. Austin Callahan then reached on an error to bring in Gilfry.
Dix worked three innings and allowed four runs (only one earned) on five hits and three walks. He struck out one. Brennan Callahan didn’t allow a hit and struck out three.
Colby Mitchell started on the mound for Three Rivers. He worked five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and three walks. He struck out four.
Caleb Burchfield took the loss. He gave up three runs in 1 2/3 innings. Hagen Earls pitched the final 1/3 of an inning and gave up a run.
Hayden said FSB didn't panic in the last inning.
"The kids were pretty fired up," he said. "We were just chasing one (run) so we needed a base runner to get on and move them. We had a couple of really big at-bats from guys to get on. ... Everybody went out there and did what they could to help us win today."
FSB advances to a winners’ bracket game against Festus (Missouri) at 7 Friday night.