The Southern Nevada Blue Sox, behind right-hander Shane Spencer, defeated Creighton Prep (Nebraska) 2-1 on Tuesday night to win the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina.
The Blue Sox are the first Nevada team to win the title since the Southern Nevada Titans (Bishop Gorman) in 2008. The Blue Sox are mostly of players from Basic High School, which has won the last two Class 4A state championships.
Spencer led the way with a seven-inning complete game, striking out six and allowing three hits and a pair of walks.
Southern Nevada (57-9) fell 9-1 to Creighton Prep in the first game of the World Series on Friday, the only game all tournament in which the Blue Sox allowed more than three runs.
Creighton Prep (57-6) struck in the first on a double and two sacrifice flies. After that, Shane Spencer settled in.
The Blue Sox scored in the third after Jack Wold ripped a two-out double down the right-field line that missed being a home run by a few feet. Jesse Fontaboa walked, then Garrett Giles singled in Wold, tying the game.
The game remained tied until the sixth when JJ Smith opened with a single to left field, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Nick Thompson, the offensive and pitching star from Monday’s semifinal game, drilled a sacrifice fly to center, giving the Blue Sox the lead.
Spencer did the rest. He got a groundout to start the bottom of the seventh, then struck out the second batter of the inning. He induced a ground ball to Giles at third base, and once the throw hit the back of Wold’s glove at first base, the Blue Sox were national champions.
The Blue Sox struggled in pool play, scoring just two runs in three games and giving up 10.
But the Blue Sox won the tiebreaker, fewest runs-allowed against common opponents, giving them second place in their pool and, ultimately, a second chance at the Nebraska team
Their bats finally came alive in Monday’s semifinal, when they beat Bryant (Arkansas) 7-3 in extra innings and advanced to the championship game.