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Leesburg Post 34’s Late-Game Magic Ends in Mid-Atlantic Region Semifinals

By Joey Kamide, 08/06/17, 4:15PM EDT

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Tj holdredge smallAugust 6 - Leesburg Post 34 saw its run end at the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regionals when its latest rally fell short in an 8-6 semifinal loss to Ephrata (PA) Post 429 this afternoon in Purcellville.

The defending regional champions (18-13) rebounded from an 11-2 opening-round loss to Ephrata on Wednesday, earning three consecutive wins - two coming in walk off fashion - to advance to within a game of the championship game of the double-elimination tournament.

Today, Leesburg took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third, but Ephrata responded with three runs in the top of the fourth off Leesburg starter T.J. Holdredge. The Pennsylvania state champions then scored three more in the sixth and one in the seventh off reliever Mike Mozeyko to take an 8-4 lead. Holdredge and left fielder Greyson Rauch drove in runs in the bottom of the ninth to give the host team life, but shortstop Connor Miller struck out to end the threat.

With the win, Ephrata (30-6) advances to face Hopewell (N.J.) Post 339 (37-10) in this evening’s final at Fireman’s Field. The winner advances to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C., next week.

Leesburg had earned walk off wins the previous two days, beating Wilmington (DE) Post 1, 9-8, on Friday when Miller scored on a fielder’s choice by Patrick Burke, then beat Hopewell, 4-3, yesterday when Miller scored on a game-ending passed ball. Nate Craner scattered seven hits and went the distance to earn the win against the New Jersey state champions, while Nick Lockhart went 5.1 innings in relief of starter Cameron Taylor to earn the decision on Friday.

Left-hander Wes Glass tossed 4.2 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win in Thursday’s 6-2 win over Wesleyville (PA) Post 571.

Holdredge, who hit his second home run of the tournament and drove in three runs today, paced the team with nine hits over Leesburg’s five games. Rauch and Brandon Kelman each had eight hits.

Photo of T.J. Holdredge courtesy of Leesburg Post 34