Post 70 Junior Legion one win away from state

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 20, 2001

Sports Writer

Troy Post 70 Junior Legion baseball team head coach Russ Jinright was worried about his pitching depth heading into the American Legion District Championship game with Montgomery Post 210 Tuesday night. But a clutch performance by Daniel Porter has Jinright and Troy thinking State tournament.

Porter relieved starter Matthew Johnson in the third inning and pitched the final five innings,

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allowing two earned runs and Justin Sims drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh as Troy slid by Montgomery, 10-9 at Frazier Field.

The win set up a Playoff Elimination showdown with Foley Saturday night and Troy can become the first American Legion team ever from Troy to play its way into the State tournament with a win Saturday. First pitch Saturday is set for 7:00 at Frazier Field and in case of a rainout, game time is scheduled for Sunday at noon.

"We came out tonight knowing that we had some pitchers with sore arms and all and Matthew came out to start with and he had a swollen up finger," Jinright said. "He couldn’t grip the ball good so it started hurting him and we went to Daniel Porter and I think he did a outstanding job."

Porter scattered seven hits and fanned five while walking one and hitting a batter. Jinright was impressed with the performance, not only from Porter, but from the offense as well.

"Porter hasn’t pitched for us all year, this is his first appearance this year," Jinright continued. "He did a great job and it was a lot different last night, there were 25 strikeouts in the game and two hits and tonight we had 12 hits. If we can come out like that Saturday, we can put the first team from Troy in the State tournament."

Montgomery rallied to tie the game in the top of the sixth and hoped to send the game into extra innings in the bottom of the seventh, but Troy had other ideas. Matt Kilpatrick, Post 210’s third pitcher of the night, walked Brett Pierce to start the inning and Tyson Pugh and Luke Sanders eached reached on bunts to load the bases with no one out. That set the stage for Sims, who sliced a ball into left-centerfield for the game-winner. Sanders and Sims, hitting one-two in the order, combined to go seven-for-nine during the game.

Jinright hopes Porter’s performance will give his pitching staff a needed rest heading into Saturday and thinks with a win Saturday, the staff will be back in order and give his team a shot to do some damage at State.

"We will probably go with Sims on Saturday because he is on four days rest. If we can just make it to the State tournament, Wesley Wright and some other guys should be able to pitch next Thursday. I’m just hoping we can come out and play one more good game. We have played three good games this week, we’ve played real good baseball and came out on top."