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Madeira Beach enters state as area champions

It took 13 innings and nearly four hours, but the wait was worth it for Madeira Beach Post 273. For the third time in four years, Post 273 won the Southwest Area American Legion Baseball Tournament, defeating Bradenton Post 24 12-5 at Brinker Field.

Madeira Beach (33-8) will play in the state tournament on Aug. 1-4 in Bradenton, as will Post 24 because it is the host team.

"I'm a competitor and the guys on this team are competitors," Post 273 coach Dave Pano said.

Both teams struggled offensively through the first seven innings, but Madeira Beach was able to get a run in the seventh and the eighth to tie Bradenton. After getting two in the ninth inning, Bradenton benefitted from three straight walks that scored two runs and tied the game at 5.

In the extra innings, Post 273 finally got to Post 24 starter Jody Friedman with seven in the 13th inning to seal the win.

Post 273's Andrew Beattie was 2-for-4 with four walks and three stolen bases. Adam Agosto was 3-for-6 with an RBI. Pitcher Danny Hart threw eight strong innings, allowing only four hits and two runs.

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