Monday night's game between Carmi and Harrisburg in the 24th District American Legion Tournament was the emoji equivalent of the two big eyes and a bucket of popcorn.
With storylines a plenty and a flare for the dramatic, Monday night's game started off being played under protest by Carmi and then mix in a coach being ejected, two other coaches almost throwing down, a player being thrown out, some trash talking, a dirty slide and in the end, Carmi Post 224 won 17-11 to force a winner-take-all game Tuesday night.
Harrisburg Post 167 squandered some opportunities early and despite some late rallies, including scoring six runs on just two hits in the bottom of the seventh will look for their first District 24 Championship since 2015 -- when they beat Carmi -- 8-4 in the championship game.
Carmi Post 224 jumped on Harrisburg starter Bayden Ditterline early, taking a 3-0 lead.
Harrisburg had two chances in the bottom of the second and third innings, both times with one out to do some damage.
In the bottom of the second, Harrisburg ad runners on second and third after a one-out Dallas Roberts double to right field that put Payton Miller at third, but Krayton Morse and Kale Oglesby flew out in the infield to end the threat.
In the bottom of the third, Josh Turnage was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Miller got caught looking at a third strike and Bronson Stanley flew out to left field to end the threat.
Post 167 finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Reynolds' blooped a single to right field and was then forced out at second on a Krayton Morse fielder's choice. Oglesby then singled past short and Colby Morse loaded the bases with another bloop single past third. Gallatin County's Garrett Rushing hit a rocket to short that scored Morse and Oglesby. After a Dittlerline smashed single to left field to load the bases, Turnage flew out to CF and Carmi thew out a tagging Colby Morse from third to end the inning.
Harrisburg then scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it 10-5 in favor or Carmi, but Harrisburg didn't do themselves any favors by giving up seven runs in the top of the seventh.
Post 167 had four errors on the day and Ditterline took the loss, going 4.33, allowing seven runs (five earned) on six hits, striking out four and walking six.
Seth Quertermous came on in relief and worked 1.67 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, striking out two and walking four. Following Quertermous was Gabe Fowler, who allowed five runs on two hits, while walking three.
At the plate, Reynolds was 3-for-5 with an RBI. Rushing and Colby Morse each had a multiple hit night as Rushing went going 2-for-4 in the leadoff spot with two RBI and two runs scored. Morse hit in the No. 9 hole and finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Ditterline, Miller, Quetermous, Oglesby, Nick Walker all had one hit.
Carmi's Easton Stewart roped a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to eliminate Fairfield and put his team in position to play Harrisburg Monday night.
Stewart was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Travis Black was 2-for-3 with four RBI. As a team, Carmi had 16 hits on the night.
Tuesday night's championship game will send the winner to the 5th Division Tournament in Aviston and will play the host team on July 21st, starting at 8 p.m.
Michael Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.