By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — The Kokomo Post 6 American Legion baseball sectional continues to become more and more bizarre as the days go by.
After holding off Greentown Post 317 12-10 Thursday night in a game that featured 19 walks and four hit batsmen, the Sixers split a pair of games Friday to ensure themselves a spot in next week’s Legion Regional in Plymouth.
Post 6 fell to Richmond Post 65 10-3 in Friday’s first game at CFD Investments Stadium before bouncing back to beat Post 317 for the second time in as many days, 13-7.
Richmond and Kokomo were supposed to play today to decide the sectional’s champion and top seed for the regional, but Richmond forfeited both of Saturday’s potential contests, giving Post 6 the sectional’s top seed in the regional round.
“Richmond preferred not to drive another 100 miles and play the game knowing they already qualified for the regional,” Post 6 manager Don Andrews said. “As a coach, I don’t like that. I think it sets them up for failure. So that gives us the top seed, meaning we will play the No. 2 seed from the Plymouth Sectional. It sets up nice for us, but I don’t like the way it’s been handled.”
In Friday’s first game, Richmond (19-7) scored four runs in the first and two more in the second to put Post 6 behind early.
Starting pitcher Conner Milligan helped his own cause with an RBI single in the top of the first, but the Sixers (17-14) never recovered from the early deficit. Drew Bellus belted an RBI double in the sixth for Post 6, while Isaac Turner singled with one-out in the eighth and later scored on Jesse Broomfield’s single.
Bellus and Nathan Kirk both had two hits in the loss for Kokomo.
In the nightcap, Kokomo clinched a spot in the regional round with a 13-7 win over Greentown (2-12).
Turner just missed the cycle in the second game of the day, finishing with a single, double, home run and four RBIs.
Logan Barnes added a triple, a double and two RBIs. Eli Grimes smacked a double, and Broomfield and Tyler Goudy both poked a pair of singles in the win for the Sixers.
Kirk picked up the win on the hill, allowing six runs (three earned) in seven innings of work. He allowed four hits, struck out four and walked four.
“After [Thursday night’s 12-10 win over Greentown], no coach would have been happy with the way we played,” Andrew said. “And that happens from time to time during a season, and it was unfortunate it happened to us at tourney time. We didn’t recover from it and didn’t play well against Richmond. Between games we had a heart-to-heart and responded with a good game against Greentown.”
Caleb Aaron suffered the loss on the hill for Post 317. Derek Durkes belted a three-run homer for Greentown, while Kerrigan Forgrave added a single and a double.