• Box Score: PI Midwest 8, Lakewood, Calif. 4
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SHELBY, N.C. — Zack Garrett drove in four runs Friday to lead PI Midwest (Omaha Creighton Prep) to an 8-4 win against Lakewood, Calif., in a first-round game at the American Legion World Series.
Garrett had a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then added a three-run double in the third. Coach Pat Mooney's squad scored five in that third inning and held the lead the rest of the way.
“It's a good start for us,” Mooney said. “I think both teams were a little tight, but that five-run inning really relaxed us.”
Creighton recruit Taylor Elman pitched seven innings to get the win. He allowed five hits and struck out five before getting relief help from McLaine Jonas and Adam Wilson.
Wilson pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth by getting an inning-ending strikeout. He finished the ninth to earn the save.
“That strikeout was huge,” Mooney said. “That really got us out of a jam.”
Mooney's team went ahead 1-0 in the second inning when T.J. Wood led off with a double, advanced to third on a Kevin Connolly groundout and scored on Garrett's sacrifice fly. Lakewood tied it in the top of the third after a walk, an infield error and an RBI groundout.
PI Midwest had four bunt singles in the third inning, but Garrett's three-run double down the left-field line was the big blow. That stretched the lead to 6-1, but Lakewood rallied to score one in the fifth and two in the seventh to make it 6-4.
The team from Prep pushed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to extend its advantage. Wood stole home on the back end of a double steal and Connolly scored on an infield throwing error.
Jonas came on in relief in the eighth and walked four batters. But a double play saved PI Midwest, and Wilson got the final out of the inning to keep his team on top.
Right fielder Evan Ryan had three hits and left fielder Wood added two for PI Midwest (50-8). The team from Prep is making its first Legion World Series appearance since 2001 and is seeking to become the second team from Nebraska to win the national title.
The first was the 1939 Omaha McDevitts squad, which also consisted of players from Prep.
PI Midwest remains in the winners bracket of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament and will play at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Lakewood..............................001 010 200—4 5 5
PI Midwest.............................015 000 20x—8 8 4
W: Elman. L: Alverez. 2B: PIM, Wood, Garrett. L, Clary.