Martinsville Post 42 junior legion went into Sunday needing to win two games to finish the day as American Legion Department of Virginia state champions.
Martinsville got the first win, a 7-3 victory over Portsmouth Post 310 in Fredericksburg, but were unable to get the second, falling to Winchester Post 21 8-1, to finish the tournament as state runner-up.
The first game lasted just under an hour and a half, with Martinsville making quick work of Portsmouth thanks to a complete game gem on the mound from Kyle Ramsey. Ramsey allowed just three hits and one earned run, with four strikeouts and one walk.
Portsmouth scored two runs in the top of the first on a walk, hit, and two errors, but Martinsville answered in the bottom half of the inning, scoring four to take the lead for good. Yeison Sosa and Conner Plaster singled, and two batters later Colby Cunningham brought both home with a single to left. Drew Fisher, who had walked earlier in the inning, and Cunningham then both came around to score on a single by Michael Martin.
Portsmouth cut the lead to one in the fifth off of two hits, their only other hits of the day. In the bottom of the inning Martinsville again answered. Plaster led off the inning with a single, then reached third on two wild pitches, and came around to score on a single by Fisher. Fisher would come around score two batters later thanks to a hit by Colton Stegall.
Ramsey brought the win home thanks to back-to-back shut down innings in the sixth and seventh. He retired his final eight batters for the Game 1 victory.
Plaster and Cunningham had three hits each in Game 1. Plaster also scored two runs and Cunningham had two RBIs and a run scored. Elliott Underwood added two hits and a run scored.
Martinsville came into Sunday as huge underdogs in the state tournament. They qualified for states after finishing as District F runners-up, winning the first four game before falling twice to Lynchburg in the championship on two straight one-run losses.
Martinsville got their revenge Saturday, sending Lynchburg home with a 3-1 win and qualifying for the final day of the tournament.
In Game 2, Martinsville’s magic ran out. Post 42 mustered just one run off of seven hits in the game. They had three errors in the field and allowed Winchester to score in all but one inning.
All seven of Martinsville’s hits came from seven different players. Colton Stegall scored the lone run for Post 42 in the top of the second inning. After hitting a one-out single, Stegall advanced to second after Martin was hit by a pitch, and then to third on a single by Hunter Whitlow. Stegall came around to score after Underwood lined out to right field and Winchester made an error at first base to allow the only run of the night.
Martinsville finishes the summer 17-12-1. They went 8-4 in postseason play.
Martinsville 7, Portsmouth 3
Post 310 — 200 010 0 — 3 3 2
Post 42 — 400 021 X — 7 12 3
Martinsville hitters: Y. Sosa 1-3, R, RBI; C. Plaster 3-4, 2R; D. Fisher 1-3, 2R, RBI, BB; C. Cunningham 3-3, R, 2RBI; C. Stegall 1-3, RBI; M. Martin 1-3, 2RBI; E. Underwood 2-3, R
Martinsville pitching: K. Ramsey 7IP, 87P, 3H, 3R, 1ER, 4K, BB
Winchester 8, Martinsville 1
Post 42 — 010 000 0 — 1 7 3
Post 21 — 121 022 X 0 8 8 1
Martinsville hitters: K. Ramsey 1-4; Y. Sosa 1-3; D. Fisher 1-3; C. Stegall 1-3, R; D. Pendleton 1-1; H. Whitlow 1-1; E. Underwood 1-3
Martinsville pitching: Y. Sosa 1.1IP, 31P, 2H, 3R, K; 3BB; D. Pendleton 2IP, 37P, H, R, K, 3BB; T. Barnes 2.2IP, 40P, 5H, 4R, 2ER, K
Cara Cooper is the sports editor of the Martinsville Bulletin. You can reach her at (276)638-8801 ext. 241.