SHELBY, N.C. — Jesuit-based Retif Oil defeated Brooklawn, New Jersey, to win the American Legion World Series in 2012.
There will be a rematch at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the semifinals of the 2015 version of the event thanks to a complete-game effort for Retif Oil by pitcher Davis Martin on Sunday night.
Martin allowed only one run on six hits to get the 2-1 victory against Midland, Michigan, in front of 7,809 fans at Keeter Stadium.
“That young man grew up a great deal tonight,” Retif Oil coach Joey Latino said of Martin. “He just finished his sophomore year of high school, but it didn’t look like it tonight. He pitched out of some trouble with the help of some stellar defense behind him, and just got stronger as the game progressed. I can’t say enough about him.”
The game remained scoreless until Retif Oil (34-7) broke through in the fifth.
Harrison Daste walked, and Nick Ray chopped a base hit down the third-base line to put runners on first and second with no outs.
One out later, Ben Hess, who has been the star of the weekend both at the plate and in the field, grounded a single to left field that Jordan Dopp overran trying to come up throwing, and Daste scored for a 1-0 lead.
After a double-steal, Trent Forshag chopped one to third that Ty Jones could not handle, allowing Ray to come home, making it 2-0. Ray reached base three times. Hess was 2-for-4.
“It’s incredible what (Hess) has done between the Mid-South Regional and here,” Latino said. “Every time it seems like we need a big hit, he’s coming through for us.”
Midland (47-8) answered in the sixth with three straight two-out hits to get on the board. Dopp’s base hit to left brought in Carson Eby for the first Midland run.
Midland starting pitcher Alex Sova hit two batters in the fourth, but New Orleans left the bases loaded when Alex Galy’s sharp line drive was snatched by Sova. Galy was trying for his second hit in as many tries facing Sova. Sova went 6 .1 innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits. He hit four batters and walked four.
Martin walked two Midland batters with two outs in the top of the fifth, but he got Derrek Clyde to ground out to Daniel Edmund at first base to escape any damage.
Retif Oil had a chance for more in their sixth with runners at the corners and two outs. However, Ray was thrown out trying to steal second for the third out after Florida International-commit Brandon Briuglio had just hit a long fly ball foul down the right field line.
Midland had runners on first and second in the top of the seventh with one out, but Martin induced a grounder to second, leading to a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play by Briuglio and Ray to end the threat.
Martin retired the final six Midland batters in a row in the eighth and ninth innings to pick up the complete game victory and set up the semifinals.
“At this point, it’s more about what you’re playing for than who you’re playing against,” Latino said. “We’re one of four teams left, and that’s just amazing from where we started back in early June. We were struggling at 1-4 out of the gates, and here we are twelve weeks later on the biggest stage American Legion has to offer with a chance to play for a national championship.”
Next up is back-to-back defending champion Brooklawn (46-6), which came from behind Sunday against Waipahu, Hawaii, for the second year in a row. They scored twice in the eighth to tie the game and won 3-2 in 11 innings.
Medford, Oregone will play Chapin, South Carolina will meet in Monday’s first semifinal game at 3 p.m.
Both semifinal games, along with Tuesday’s 6 p.m. title game, will be broadcast on ESPNU.
AMERICAN LEGION WORLD SERIES
Monday’s and Tuesday’s games will be on ESPNU.
Meford, Ore. 3, Brooklawn, N.J. 2
Midland, Mich. 12, Cromwell, Conn. 1
Waipahu, Hawaii 5, Millard, Neb. 4
Retif Oil 2, Cromwell, Conn. 1
Medford, Ore. 3, Millard, Neb. 2
Chapin, S.C. 2, Midland, Mich. 1
Medford, Ore. 2, Waipahu, Hawaii 1
Chapin, S.C. 7, Cromwell, Conn. 6
Brooklawn, N.J. 3, Waipahu, Hawaii 2
Retif Oil 2, Midland, Mich. 1
Medford, Ore., vs. Chapin, S.C., 3 p.m.
Retif Oil vs. Brooklawn, N.J., 6:30 p.m.
Championship, 6 p.m.
Retif Oil 2 Midland, Michigan 1
Midland, Michigan -- 000 001 000 — 1 6 2
Retif Oil -- 000 020 00x — 2 5 0
Davis Martin. Alex Sova and Alec Justin. WP - Martin. LP - Sova.