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Examiner
  • A's edge Post 21 in pitchers' duel

  • Without Grant Gavin, the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s might have been out of luck in the first half of their American Legion doubleheader with Independence Post 21 on Tuesday night.

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  • Without Grant Gavin, the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s might have been out of luck in the first half of their American Legion doubleheader with Independence Post 21 on Tuesday night.
    Gavin finished 3-for-3 and clubbed the winning RBI double in the top of the sixth inning to lead the A’s to a 2-1 win at Crysler Stadium. While Gavin was perfect at the plate, the rest of his teammates went a combined 3-for-24 against Post 21 starter Chase LaFavor, who struck out six in seven innings and also registered two of his team’s six hits but took the defeat.
    “Our approach at the plate wasn’t good,” A’s manager Mike Rooney said. “We had (Gavin) go 3-for-3, if we don’t have him doing that we’re in a world of (crap).”
    Rooney said too many of his hitters were dropping their hands, trying too hard to smash deep extra-base hits instead of getting on top of the ball as LaFavor coaxed 13 pop-outs. The A’s tallied their first run in the fourth after Gavin stroked a one-out single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild throw and then scored on Corbin Hare’s sacrifice fly.
    “(LaFavor) did all he could,” Post 21 manager Tim Madsen said. “He battled in there. He wasn’t getting some calls that we were hoping he’d get and a couple spots on the field he didn’t get backed up the way he should have. But I’m proud of the guys. They battled hard and I’m proud of them.”
    Post 21 tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Stuart Lauber drove in Connor Polacek with a sacrifice bunt. Polacek reached when he dribbled a grounder to A’s starter Jay Corwin, who failed to field the ball cleanly. Polacek then advanced to third on Nick Adrales single before scoring.
    Corwin struggled throughout the game to locate his curveball, but managed to survive by consistently staying ahead in the count and pitching to contact. He tallied six groundouts in six frames, including a key 4-6-3 double play with two runners on the end the sixth.
    “I had to throw a lot of first-pitch strikes, go right after them and made them hit the ball and let my defense work,” said Corwin, who recorded just two strikeouts before David Stober entered in the seventh to earn the save.
    The A’s decisive rally started with a leadoff single from Jeremy Lufft. With one out, Gavin fell in an 0-2 hole before taking a couple pitches and fouling off two more. He then timed a LaFavor curve and bashed it to left field.
    “He was throwing a lot of strikes and mixing his offspeed well,” Gavin said. “As a lefty, I felt like I could see his curveball pretty well. He wasn’t really fooling me as much with it. I feel like that’s where I had most of my success tonight.”
    Page 2 of 2 - In the second game, Brett Barbeck pitched a six-hit shutout as the A’s completed a sweep.
    Lufft and Gavin each doubled and Lufft, Wylson Lamb, David Stober and Trenton Orr each drove in a run to power the A’s (11-2, 6-2). The A’s scored all six runs in the first three innings, including three in the second.
    Justin Madsen suffered the loss for Post 21 (5-7, 5-3).
    Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC
     
     
     
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