Desert Oasis Aces lose 3-2 in American Legion World Series

SHELBY, N.C. — Any expectations of a slugfest between the Desert Oasis Aces and Midland (Michigan) ended quickly.

The teams combined for 17 runs in winning their American Legion World Series openers Thursday. But Saturday, pitching got the best of hitting in Midland’s 3-2 victory over the Las Vegas team.

“It was a tough team, and runs were at a premium,” Aces coach Paul Buboltz said. “We came out a little flat today, which is uncharacteristic. I’m not sure the reasons why.”

Indeed, the matchup between starters Josh Sharman of Desert Oasis and Adam Randall saw just one hit after 2½ innings. Randall then got all the support he would need in the bottom of the third inning.

Logan LaCourse led off with a single. Then, with two out, Nick Dardas reached on an error to score LaCourse. Tyler David and Martin Money followed with run-scoring singles for a 3-0 lead.

Randall held Desert Oasis, which had 10 runs and 12 hits in Thursday’s 10-0 victory, hitless through four innings.

“I felt my fastball was locating it well, and my slider was my good out pitch, got a couple strikeouts off that,” Randall said.

Jimmy Gamboa had the Aces’ first hit, a leadoff single in the fifth. Randall got a groundout and flyout, then hit Jason Sharman with a pitch and allowed a run-scoring single to Parker Schmidt.

In the seventh, Midland’s Evan Schlatter gave up consecutive singles to Jason Sharman, Schmidt and Edarian Williams, making the score 3-2. But Schlatter struck out Chaison Miklich, and Seth Gower relieved and got the final out.

Schmidt had two of the Aces’ six hits. Josh Sharman allowed the three runs on four hits with one walk in 4⅔ innings.

Desert Oasis plays Randolph County (North Carolina) at 4:30 p.m. Sunday in its final pool-play game. The top two teams in each pool advance to Monday’s semifinals. The championship game is scheduled for Tuesday.

“If we win (Sunday), we’re probably in,” Buboltz said. “We’re not out of this thing yet.”

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