The Bellingham American Legion Post 7 baseball team’s deepest postseason foray since it advanced to the World Series in 2007 ended Aug. 7 with a 12-8 loss to Medford, Ore., on the final day of the Northwest Regional in Cheyenne, Wyo.
Post 7 was one of three teams to enter the final day with a 3-1 record in the tournament, joining Medford and Washington state champion Kennewick, and needed two wins to make it back to the World Series for the second time in team history. But Bellingham fell to Medford in the first game of the day, and Kennewick later beat Meford to advance out of the regional.
“I’ve noticed the last three weeks that the guys became a lot closer and bonded to put their best foot forward,” Post 7 coach Steve Slesk said. “They had high energy at the state tournament, and when our backs were against the wall in Cheyenne, they put their nose down and played with great energy in every game.”
After finishing second to Kennewick in the state tournament last month, Bellingham opened the regional with a 12-2 loss to Medford but rebounded with an 8-1 win over Sheridan, Wyo., on Aug. 4 and a thrilling 9-7 over Boise, Idaho, on Aug. 5.
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Post 7 really got things going Aug. 6, using 20 hits to beat Billings, Mont., 13-3 to advance to the final day.
“Our offense really caught fire,” Slesk said. “Like in the state tournament, we seemed to play our best when our backs were against the wall. ... Brady Moore played his best baseball of the season, hitting over .600 in the regional, and guys like Jordan Wittenberg, Kyle Sandstrom and Ernie Yake really swung the bats good. The key was the bottom half of our lineup produced, and we didn’t have to rely on just the guys at the top.”