By Thomas Grant Jr.
The Junior League World Series run for Irmo Little League ended in familiar fashion Saturday in Taylor, Ill.
Team Southeast (Irmo) lost 3-2 to host team Michigan District Five in the US championship game.
Max LaForest’s walk-off RBI sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the seventh sent Taylor to Sunday’s noon final against Chinese Taipei.
Ironically, the Senior League team for Irmo Little League saw its season end with two walk off losses. The Junior team managed to go 3-2 in the tournament with two wins over Hillside, N.J.
Michigan District Five held a 2-0 lead until the top of the fourth when team Southeast Irmo tied the game. Cooper Derrick, who had six strikeouts and six innings, scored a run on an RBI fielder’s choice.
With a runner on second base, Chance O’Cain hit a single to right field. As the ball was thrown into the infield, Michigan District Five attempted a rundown at first base.
The ball was dropped, allowing the tying run to score.
In the bottom of the 7th, Michigan District 5 got a lead off single. The next batter reached on an error and an intentional walk loaded the bases.
Team Southeast got a strikeout, only for LaForest to follow with the game-winning sacrifice fly.