Legion A baseball: Brighton comes up short in bid for championship

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EATON – Brighton beat Eaton once but couldn't pull off a repeat victory July 27.

Eaton won the championship of Legion A state baseball by a score of 4-2.


Brighton rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning. Cole Farmer singled home Brandon Pettinger to tie the score. Casey Towers reached on a fielder's choice to score Pettinger and give Brighton its only lead of the game.

Eaton's Ryan Koehler scored the tying run in the bottom of the fifth. Sean Carson, who opened the scoring with a home run, added an insurance run.

Pettinger, Farmer and Brock Stricklett had Brighton's base hits. Seth Armentrout struck out four in 5 1/3 innings of pitching.

Gavin Gifford drove home two runs as Brighton topped Eaton 4-2 in the first of a two-game final to determine the champion of Legion A state baseball. Gifford wound up with a pair of singles. Jose Treto and Pettinger also had RBIs. Pitcher Liam Eddy went the distance and struck out nine to pick up the win.

Brighton also topped Greeley West 5-1 July 26 to advance to the finals. Stricklett had two hits and drove in a run. Pettinger and Nick Kargar drove in Brighton's other runs. Pitcher Casey Towers struck out eight in a complete-game effort.

Elsewhere in the tourney, Brighton opened up a close game with a seven-run rally in the sixth inning and beat Mountain Range 10-3 July 25. Stricklett drove in two runs with a single. Towers added an RBI single during the outburst. Brighton also took advantage of three Mountain Range errors in the inning to score four more runs. 

Kargar finished with three hits. Pettinger picked up the win. He lasted six innings, allowed seven hits and struck out three.

Brighton used a home run from Tanner Ringler, a triple from Prickett and two-hit pitching from Treto to beat Mead 2-1 July 25. Treto struck out 10 in a complete-game performance. It was his second win of the tournament. Kargar, Towers, Armentrout, Stricklett and Eddy had Brighton's other base hits.

Greeley West nipped Brighton 4-3 in the quarterfinals July 24. Kargar and Prickett had the RBIs for Brighton. Towers had a couple of base hits. Brighton couldn't overcome four defensive errors, which allowed Greeley West to score a pair of unearned runs.

Armentrout pitched six innings and struck out three.

Brighton started the tournament with a come-from-behind, 6-5 win over Denver East in eight innings July 23. Pettinger's RBI single scored Isaiah Bartolo and earned a win for Treto. 

East took a 4-1 lead into the last of the third, only to see Brighton rally to tie the score by the end of the inning. East took a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning, but Pettinger scored the tying run in the seventh on an infield error.

Pettinger finished with two hits. Stricklett added a home run. Prickett had a hit and Brighton's other RBI. Gifford also had a base hit. Treto struck out two in two innings of relief work.

We'll have more on Brighton's summer season in the July 30 edition of the Brighton Standard Blade.