By Jeremy McDonald
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.– Post 20 did what they needed to do to get to Day 5:
After their tough 3-2 loss to Eugene on Day 2, the Dirtbags will have an opportunity for revenge against the Challengers Wednesday with the winner playing one-loss Medford for the American Legion Triple-A crown.
That one loss for the Mustangs, came by way of the Post 20 squad in a 6-2 win Tuesday night at Kiger Stadium.
Kaleb Kantola had an eerie similar start pitching to when the Dirtbags and Medford met on Day 3 of the State Playoffs last summer in Roseburg where he held the ‘Stangs to one run over the course of the game that day.
It wasn’t a one-run performance, with Medford scoring their first run in the first inning and their second in the third inning to tie it up at two. But hey, his eight strikeouts was the trend for him to help guide the Central Panthers to the 5A State Title nearly two months ago.
“I struggled trying to find the zone early in the game, I settled down after the first inning. My guys were savages, they rocked today. That helped me a lot,” said Kantola.
The bats carried over from Sunday’s game with Beaverton starting with Jacob Maiben’s no-doubter of a home run to tie the game up at 1 heading into the second inning.
Post 20 took a 2-1 leading after two before the Mustangs tied it at 2 in the top half of the third inning. The Dirtbags quickly responded by loading up the bases before Erik Swanson cleared the grid with a three-RBI double to separate the two teams entering the fourth inning.
“It started when Jacob hit that home run in the first inning. That was what really got us to go,” said Swanson of the offense. “Then when I got up to bat, I knew they were going to give me a first pitch fastball because in my at-bat before I looked at one. Then I knew it was going to be right there so I was on-time and shit happens I guess.”
Braden Allison pushed the Dirtbag lead to 6-2 in the fifth inning when he beat out a dropped out at first and Kantola pitched through six innings on 101 pitches before Hector Amador closed out the game in the seventh inning.
Post 20 and Eugene play at 1pm with the winner playing in the State Title game at 3pm at Kiger Stadium.