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BOYERTOWN â€“ The Wilcox American Legion team fought until the final out but fell short in a 4-2 loss to Milton Thursday afternoon at Bear Stadium in Boyertown, a loss which eliminated Wilcox from the Pennsylvania American Legion State Tournament.
Wilcox made things interesting in the ninth facing a 4-2 deficit. Kyle Sheldon started things off with a 1-out walk and Mitchell Holmberg followed with a walk of his own. Josh Mitchell blooped a single into the outfield to load the bases and put the tying run at second base. Milton closer Reynaldo Adames was able to bear down and get a strikeout and a flyout to end the game and push Milton into the fourth day of the tournament.
Milton did all its damage against Wilcox in the third inning with a 4-run outburst. Jeff Levitan led off the inning with a double and Michael Jacobs singled to put runners on the corners for Milton. Adames then reached on a Wilcox error which scored Levitan for a 1-0 lead. Daniel Bridge was then hit by a pitch which brought another runner around to score. Damian Moyer reached on Wilcox's second error of the inning to bring Adames around for a 3-0 lead. A Jordon Bordner sacrifice fly scored Bridge for a 4-0 Milton lead.
Wilcox would add a run in the fifth. Cole Peterson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Jesse Reynolds then took advantage of a Milton error to reach base. Mitchell Holmberg grounded into a fielder's choice which forced Reynolds out at second. Mitchell singled to score Peterson for the game's first run. Joe Holmberg then singled but Mitchell Holmberg was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Wilcox also put a strong threat together in the eighth. Joe Holmberg and Ben MacDonald had back-to-back 1-out singles and Quinn Luhr walked to load the bases with one out. Cameron Grumley hit into a fielder's choice which plated Holmberg for the inning's second out. Milton starting pitcher Mark Artley got a flyout to end the inning and keep the 2-run lead for Milton.
Artley pitched eight innings for Milton and allowed two runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Peterson started for Wilcox and pitched the first six innings before being removed due to the Legion tournament rule about pitching 12 innings in a 3-day period. Peterson allowed just three hits, walked none and struck out five. Mitchell came on in relief and threw two perfect innings with four strikeouts.
Wilcox had multiple runners on base in the first three innings. Peterson led off the game with a hit and Mitchell reached on a 2-out walk but Wilcox could not get any runs. Luhr and CJ Herbstritt singled in the second inning before Artley was able to get a double play to end the threat.
Mitchell Holmberg singled in the third before Mitchell walked. Artley was again able to work out of a jam with a flyout.
Wilcox finishes with a 22-4 record this season. The team was 14-0 in the Elk County league regular season, won the league championship and won the Region 8 Tournament.