Gloucester Post 75 surged for five runs in the sixth inning Saturday night to defeat Martinsville Post 42 8-4 and stay alive in the American Legion Junior state tournament at Glen Allen Stadium.
Gloucester, 2-1 with a pair of comeback victories so far in the Richmond-area event, will play Colonial Heights Post 284 at 10 a.m. Sunday in elimination game.
Saturday's victory gained payback for Gloucester, whose defense struggled in a 6-3 defeat to Martinsville Friday in the first round.
The last two unbeaten teams in the eight-team tournament, Winchester Post 21 and West End Post 361 from Henrico County, will play at 12:30 p.m.
The winner of that contest will advance to Monday's championship round, where it will have two opportunities to capture the championship. The Winchester-West End loser will face the Colonial Heights-Gloucester winner at 5 p.m. for a berth in the championship round.
Coastal Plain League:
The Martinsville Mustangs scored three runs in the ninth inning -- the final two on wild pitches -- to beat the Peninsula Pilots 4-3 Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium.
The loss ended the Pilots' chances of winning the East Division's second-half title, though Peninsula (33-21) is safely in the playoffs as the division's second seed, with Edenton at No. 1. The Steamers, who easily won the first half, clinched the second half Saturday night.
The Pilots will open the playoffs Wednesday on the road in a best-of-three series, likely against the Wilmington Sharks, then will return home for Game 2 Thursday and, if necessary, Game 3 Friday.
Two errors by the Mustangs in the first inning led to a run, then Delaware's Zach Lopes hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning and Jordan Negrini hit an RBI single in the third, giving the Pilots a 3-0 lead.
Martinsville made it 3-1 on an 11-pitch, bases-loaded walk in the eighth, but the Pilots escaped further damage -- only for a few minutes, as it turned out.
In the ninth, Georgia Tech's Josh Heddinger squandered a save opportunity. A hit batter with the bases loaded cut the deficit to 3-2, and the pair of run-scoring wild pitches put the Mustangs in front.
ODU's Matt Dickason singled in the Pilots' ninth, but he was left stranded.
Zach Britton took the loss as Charlotte breezed past the Norfolk Tides 8-2 before 9,066 in a series opener at Harbor Park, ending the Tides' winning streak at three.
Britton gave up 10 hits and four runs in six innings of a game that was delayed 49 minutes because of rain. Erik Johnson gained the victory with six innings of five-hit ball.
Charlotte's Tyler Greene madded 3-for-4 with four RBI, while Mike McDade and Andy Wilkins each batted 3-for-5 with two runs for the Knights, the top farm club of the Chicago White Sox.
Danny Valencia and Xavier Avery paced the Tides with two hits apiece. Norfolk (58-56) stayed a game behind Pawtucket (59-55) in the race for the IL's wild-card spot. Buffalo (58-55) and Lehigh Valley (58-57) also are in that race with less than a month to go in the regular season.
The box score is here:
Left-hander Edwin Escobar (3-2) struck out six in seven innings of one-hit pitching to guide the Richmond Flying Squirrels (54-59) to a 5-0 shutout of New Hampshire before 8,244 at The Diamond.
Richmond's four-run, six-hit third inning off Toronto Blue Jays farmhand Marcus Walden of the Fisher Cats proved decisive. Adam Duvall led the Squirrels by batting 2-for-3 with two runs, a walk and an RBI.
The box score is here:Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun