FARGO, N.D. — PI Midwest (Omaha Creighton Prep) fell short in its quest to reach the American Legion World Series for the second straight year.
Minnesota state runner-up Burnsville remained the only unbeaten team left in the double-elimination Central Plains Regional, eliminating PI Midwest 7-3 Sunday.
Burnsville took the lead with a five-run sixth inning and held on to earn a berth in Monday's championship against Nebraska runner-up KB Building Services (Omaha Westside).
“They got some hits when they needed them,” PI Midwest coach Pat Mooney said. “And then things kind of snowballed on us in that big inning.”
Burnsville had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second but PI Midwest went ahead with a three-run third. Jason Allbery and Adam Wilson had RBI singles and Craig Petrich delivered a sacrifice fly.
The score remained 3-1 until the bottom of the sixth, when PI Midwest starter Jake Allen finally ran into trouble. A groundout produced one run but most of the damage came with two outs when four consecutive hits produced four more runs.
Jeff Albrecht came on to get PI Midwest out of the inning, but the damage was done. The team from Prep had just one base runner during the final three innings as Zach Smith went the distance, scattering nine hits.
“Their kid was pretty crafty,” Mooney said. “We didn't swing the bats very well, and they just got things rolling.”
PI Midwest stranded two runners in each of the first two innings and two more in the sixth. Those missed opportunities proved costly for the Nebraska champion, which finishes the Legion season 50-12.
“That's not too shabby for a team that didn't make it to state during the spring,” Mooney said. “I'm proud of the way our guys played this summer.”
PI Midwest (Om. Creighton Prep) ............................ 003 000 000—3 9 1
Burnsville, Minn. ..................................................... 010 005 10x—7 11 2
W: Smith. L: Allen. 2B: B, Keller, Dorshak, Hellquist.