Post 21 advances to District 16 tournament championship

Daily Staff Report –

STAFFORD — Top-seeded Winchester Post 21 needed just seven innings to knock off Stafford Nationals Post 290 by an 11-1 score in the American Legion District 16 tournament on Thursday.

The game ended via the 10-run mercy rule.

Winchester (22-4) pounded out 14 hits against Stafford in the winner’s bracket game to reach Saturday’s championship. Winchester will play one of Warrenton Post 72, Leesburg Post 34 or the Stafford Nationals and will have two chances to advance to next week’s state tournament.

On Thursday, Chase Smallwood was 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs, and Cody Unger went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to pace Winchester’s offense. Jacob Carney was 3-for-4, Taylor Loudan went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Ryan Hartigan was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Nick Goode went 2-for-3 for Post 21.

John Bentley picked up the win after pitching all seven innings, allowing just one run on nine hits and five walks while striking out two.

Front Royal Post 53 was eliminated on Thursday after dropping a pair of games. Post 53 (12-9), the No. 2 seed in the tournament, fell to the Stafford Nationals, 9-1, in a winner’s bracket game on Thursday morning, then dropped a 9-5 decision to Warrenton Post 72 in an elimination game that night.