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Albany blasts Evansville
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Albanys Mike Elmer crushed a two-run homer in the fourth inning of Albanys 8-4 win over Evansville Monday night. Elmer went 2-for-3 and drove in four runs.
ALBANY - Two 2009 high school graduates playing for the Albany Senior Legion baseball team won't forget the summer season finale and might also miss the short fence.

Albany's Mike Elmer and Juda's Tyler Pierce combined to go 3-for-6 with two home runs and seven RBI to power Albany to an 8-4 win over Evansville Monday night. Elmer went 2-for-3 with a home run and drove in four runs. Pierce was 1-for-3 with three RBI.

"It's good to go out with a home run and a bang," Elmer said.

Albany trailed 3-0 entering the fourth inning, but that is when the bats came alive. Steve West ignited the rally with a lead off single off Evansville's Ryan Weaver who carried a no-hitter into the fourth.

Elmer and Pierce hit back-to-back home runs to jump-start Albany. Elmer blasted a two-run homer to left center and Pierce crushed a game-tying solo homer to center to tie the game at three.

"I have been struggling hitting lately," Elmer said. "I have been in a slump. Tyler Briggs is my hitting coach and he told me what I needed to do."

Weaver threw a lot of curveballs the first time through the order and Albany made the adjustment, Pierce said.

"I was just thinking curveball," Pierce said.

For Pierce, who will try to become a walk-on player with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team, playing with players like Elmer who were conference rivals in the spring high school baseball season brought out the best in everyone.

"It was all fun playing with players we played against during the year," Pierce said. "We weren't the greatest team. We still managed to have fun. It's good to win the last game."

Albany torched Weaver for three more runs in the fifth. Albany's Phil Kauk reached on an error and Brandon Pfeuti singled. West was hit by a pitch and Elmer delivered a go-ahead two-run double to give Albany a 5-3 lead. With Pierce up to bat, the home plate umpire delayed the game almost 10 minutes due to a blinding sun. After the short delay, Weaver struck out Pierce and Bryce Hulbert came through with an RBI single to give Albany a 6-3 lead.

West started and gave up three runs on three hits in the first. Hulbert pitched two shutout innings in relief and struck out three. Albany's Tyler Bauman pitched three innings and gave up just one run on three hits to get the win.

Albany finished the summer legion season 4-14; nine of those loses were by one run.

"That has kind of been our whole season," Albany coach Brian Dahl said of the plethora of one-run games. "We finally made some adjustments and started to hit. Today, we finished a game. We hit and pitched when we needed to."

Albany's defense also carried some pitchers out of jams. In the second, Elmer, playing third, turned a double play when Evansville's Brian Lunde botched a squeeze bunt and popped it up to him. West, at catcher, in the third inning picked off Evansville's Casey Mosely when he threw down to third base to nail a straying Mosely.

"We are a small school in a big school league," Dahl said. "This year we competed with everybody. Even though our record didn't show it, we played a lot of good ballgames."