American Legion: Pedal Valves reaches final three, eliminated in Mid-South Regional

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It was a very good run for Louisiana state champion Pedal Valves at the American Legion Mid-South tournament in New Orleans but the run came to an end Sunday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.

Bryant, Arkansas eliminated Pedal Valves 5-2 in a game shortened to seven innings. The game was played on the Tulane campus and the New Orleans Saints have a practice, which was previously scheduled, and the legion games needed to be done in order to clear the area and parking for the football practice, which is expected to draw 5,000-7,000 fans.

Arkansas jumped on top early with a run in the bottom of the first inning but Pedal Valves answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-1 lead on RBI doubles by Cyle Clayton and Mickey Toscano.

The lead was short-lived as Arkansas answered with three runs in the top of the second to take the lead for good and the BlackSox added a run in the fourth inning to account for the final score.

Mason Vicknair started and took the loss, going 3 1/3 innings. Lyall Ball took over and kept Arkansas scoreless.

Sunday morning, Pedal Valves handed Ada, Oklahoma its first loss of the tournament, winning 5-2.

In the victory over the Braves, Brenden Taravella pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs. Zach Roussel pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to get the save. Justin Ory provided the offensive power with two-run triple while Mason Vicknair and Toscano each drove in a run as part of a 10-hit attack.

It was a very good showing for Pedal Valves and coach Danny Riehm but a disappointing ending.

“We were out of gas,” Riehm said. “We weren’t even done shaking hands and we had to play our next game 20 minutes later. It was like playing 16 straight innings against top-flight competition. We made it to the final 24 teams in the nation among 3,600 teams who are registered. We are very proud of that aspect. I thought it was a great run with a team that never quit and overcame adversity. It was a pleasure to coach this team. They gave us everything they had. It is a summer that we will look back on fondly, with great memories.”

Pedal Valves (29-8) finished the tournament 3-2 and third overall. Oklahoma and Arkansas are playing for the championship Sunday afternoon at Mike Miley Stadium in Metairie.

Because of the terrible rain issue in New Orleans over the past four days, the tournament required four different playing venues. Kirsch-Rooney was slated to host the entire event but the deluge of rain made the grass and dirt field unplayable after games which were played Wednesday.

The event moved to John Ryan Stadium and its all turf surface in Metairie Thursday and Friday but the huge amount of rain Saturday washed out the games and the stadium was totally flooded, underwater, necessitating the change to Turchin Stadium and its all turf surface Sunday before the final game was moved to Mike Miley Stadium, which has a turf infield but a grass outfield, which is saturated as well.

“It was difficult to navigate all of the changes but they could not be avoided,” Riehm said. “You are the mercy of the weather and unfortunately, it did not cooperate this week.”

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Ken Trahan

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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