For the Tribune-Courier
DRAFFENVILLE – Post 23 of Shelbyville, Tennessee, claimed the championship of the William A. Doyle Senior American Legion Invitational with a 5-4 victory over Lyon County Post 68 Sunday at Mike Miller Park.
Shelbyville is the only team to win back-to-back championships in the 12-year history of the tournament. The tournament will not be continued, as Post William A. Doyle Post 236 has discontinued its American Legion baseball program.
Shelbyville won all five games it played in the tournament, but had to battle against a game effort by Post 68 in Sunday’s finale.
The winners opened the scoring in the bottom half of the third inning with an RBI single to left field by catcher Cody Blackburn.
The Aces responded in the top of the fourth with an RBI single to right field by Ean Sholar. Post 68 missed an opportunity to break open the scoring when Shelbyville pitcher Jody Sullivan struck out Trace Kuberski with the bases loaded to escape the jam.
Post 23 was able to pull ahead once again thanks to triples from Quinn Frost and Tyler Bailey in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Lyon County tacked on another run to close the gap to 3-2 in the top of the fifth. In the home half of the inning, Frost belted a two-run home run to deep right field to give Shelbyville a 5-2 advantage.
The Aces rallied in the top of the sixth, scoring on RBIs by Jay Vincent and Kuberski to pull to within one run. Shelbyville brought Blackburn out from behind the plate to the mound in the top of the seventh inning and he would get the save for Post 23.
Shelbyville starter Jody Sullivan got the win, while the Aces’ Adam Driver took the loss. Frost lead the day offensively with a triple, home run and three RBIs.
Earlier Sunday, Shelbyville defeated South Fulton, Tennessee, 10-1 and Lyon County defeated Post 1239 of Aviston, Illinois, 9-5 in semifinal games.
Post 23 opened the tourney Friday with a 12-2 win over South Fulton. In the second game, Lyon County topped Aviston 5-0.
Saturday, Shelbyville edged Aviston 3-2 while Lyon County defeated South Fulton 15-4. Then, in a preview of the championship game, Post 23 topped Post 68 14-3. In Saturday evening’s finale game, Aviston defeated South Fulton 6-2.
Mayfield Post 26, which did not compete this year, is the only team besides Shelbyville to win the tournament title twice. Post 26 won it in 2010 and 2012.