Preston Thrash’s squeeze bunt drove in the winning run Friday night as Gonzales (La.) Post 81 rallied past Wilmington (Del.) Post 1 by a 5-4 score in the American Legion World Series.
In the nightcap, Dubuque (Iowa) Post 308 pounded out 12 hits and ripped Braintree (Mass.) Post 86 by a 9-1 count.
Gonzales now is 2-0 in the Stripes Division pool play at the eight-team World Series, taking place at Keeter Stadium on the Shelby High campus. The top two teams emerging from the three-game pool play in the Stars and Stripes divisions advance to Monday’s semifinals.
Thrash had entered the game as a relief pitcher in the top of the seventh and allowed Wilmington to score the tying run. In the bottom of the inning, he came up with runners on first and third and one out. His bunt scored Reid Bouchereau with the walk-off run.
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Wilmington is 1-1 in pool play.
In the second game, Dubuque (1-1) scored five times in the top of the fifth against Braintree (0-2). Five players had two hits for the Iowa team, with right-fielder Kyle Lehmann collecting two hits and two RBI.
Dubuque starting pitcher Sam Goodman went 5.1 innings, allowing just four hits and one run.
Saturday’s schedule opens with a Stars Division doubleheader — Midland (Mich.) Post 165 vs. Las Vegas Post 40 at 1 p.m.; and Randolph County Post 45 vs. Meridian (Idaho) Post 113 at 4 p.m. In the 7:30 p.m. nightcap, Gonzales faces Dubuque.
All of Saturday’s games will be televised by ESPNU.