Winning 8-3 over Bryant, Ark., Post 298 Sunday afternoon, the Festus Post 253 Senior Legion team booked its place in the American Legion World Series.
Festus (36-12) won the Mid-South Regional title in Hastings, Neb., with the final victory.
Festus, the Missouri runner-up, won its first three games in the tournament Wednesday through Friday.
Post 253 topped Kansas champion Emporia Post 5, 5-3, and then beat the Bryant Black Sox, 2-1. In the winners’ bracket final, Festus shut out Nebraska champion Fremont Post 20 First State Bank, 2-0.
Already guaranteed a spot in the championship series, Festus took on host Hastings Post 11 Five Points Bank and dropped a 5-2 decision. That, coupled with Bryant’s win over Fremont, led to three teams being left with one loss going into Sunday’s action.
That set up with Bryant playing Hastings in a first game with the winner then playing Festus. That turned out to be Bryant and Festus beat the Arkansas state champion for the second time in the tournament.
There is a little break for Festus, which has to be in Shelby, N.C., to play Thursday. The American Legion World Series works a little differently. There are two four-team pools and Festus has been assigned to the Stars Pool along with Destrehan, La., Post 366; Albuquerque, N.M., Post 13; and Danville, Ill., Post 210.
The Stripes Pool consists of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Post 56; Shrewsbury, Mass., Post 397; Randolph County, N.C., Post 45; and Fargo, N.D., Post 2.
Festus will play Albuquerque Thursday at noon (CDT) to start the event. Games Thursday will be streamed on ESPN3.
Festus has its second game Friday at 6 p.m. against Destrehan.
The final pool game will be played Sunday at noon against Danville.
The top two teams in each pool advanced to Monday’s semifinals. The Stars Pool winner plays the Stripes Pool runner-up at 3 p.m. and the Stripes Pool winner plays the Stars Pool runner-up at 6 p.m.
Games Friday through Sunday can be seen on television on ESPNU or online on ESPN3.
The title contest will be played Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. It will be televised on ESPNews.
Scoring six times in the top of the fifth was exactly what Post 253 needed to defeat Bryant in the final regional game Sunday.
Bryant, which bounced back from a second-round loss to Festus, took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Festus cut it to 2-1 in the third and exploded for six runs in the top of the fifth.
Bryant scored its final run in the bottom of the fifth. Festus added a last run in the top of the seventh.
Bryant outhit Festus, 12-10, and Festus made three errors to Bryant’s two.
Jeremy Isenman went the distance for Post 253, allowing three runs on 12 hits, two walks and one hit batter. He struck out four.
Jordan Duncan paced the offense with three hits.
Jacob Bridges, Levi Ebersoldt, Colby Ott, Jake Leitner, Charlie Pratt, Isack Hamilton and Brendon Smock each had one hit.
Ott and Eddie Martin each walked twice. Bridges and Hamilton walked once.
Bridges was hit by a pitch and stole two bases. Ebersoldt added a sacrifice fly.
Bridges scored three of the runs. Leitner scored two runs. Duncan, Ebersoldt, Ott and Hamilton scored once.
Duncan had two RBIs. Ebersoldt, Leitner, Hamilton and Smock each drove in one run.
Slade Renfrow started for Bryant and took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits, three walks and a hit batter. He struck out three.
Tyler Bates pitched the final three innings, allowing five runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks. He struck out seven.
Jake Wright and Gage Stark each had three hits for Bryant. Wright tripled.
Coby Greiner had two hits.
Logan Chambers, Logan Catton, Cade Drennan and Logan Grant singled.
Catton and Wright walked. Noah Davis was hit by a pitch.
Wright scored two runs and Drennan scored once.
Wright, Stark and Grant each drove one run.
The Black Sox eliminated host Hastings earlier Sunday, 3-2.
In Saturday’s games, Bryant knocked out the Nebraska state champion, 5-4. Festus already was assured a spot in the championship series no matter what happened against Hastings by virtue of being the final undefeated team going into that game.
Hastings won that game, 5-2, to make Sunday’s final a three-team event. Festus led 2-0 after one inning and that held up until Hastings scored three times in the top of the sixth and twice in the seventh.
Leitner started for Festus and took the loss. He allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits and one walk.
Bridges pitched in the final inning, allowing one hit and a hit batter. He struck out one.
Martin led the Festus offense with two hits, including a double.
Duncan, Ott and Leitner singled.
Duncan and Hamilton walked. Bridges and Conner Wilkinson were hit by pitches.
Bridges and Ott scored with Leitner and Martin getting the RBIs.
Jake Shaw and Gabe Conant combined pitching for Hastings. Shaw went four innings, allowing two runs on five hits, one walk and a hit batter. He struck out three.
Conant was the winner, going three innings while allowing a walk and a hit batter. He struck out two.
JT Cafferty had three hits, including a double. Mike Boeve singled twice and Ashton Valentine tripled.
In Friday’s win over Fremont, Duncan and Ebersoldt combined in an eight-inning one-hit shutout.
Festus scored both runs in the top of the eighth and held on to win. Post 253 outhit Fremont, 5-1, but also made all three of the game’s errors.
Duncan lasted 6.1 innings before hitting his pitch limit, allowing one hit and five walks while striking out eight.
Ebersoldt was the winning pitcher, going 1.2 innings while allowing a walk. He struck out two.
Mitchell Glause went the distance for Fremont and his last batter put him at the pitch limit. He allowed two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out eight.
Bridges had two of the Festus hits while Duncan, Martin and Hamilton each had one hit.
Bridges and Martin stole bases. Isenman sacrificed.
Bridges and Hamilton scored the runs. Bridges and Duncan had the RBIs.
Austin Callahan had the lone Fremont hit. Glause and Donnie Mueller each walked twice. Callahan and Camden McKenzie walked once.
Mueller stole two bases. Glause had one steal and Dillon Dix sacrificed.