East comes out firing

Published 7:42 am Saturday, July 18, 2009

Post 49 East Limestone came out of the gates firing in its opening game of the Alabama American Legion Junior State Tournament Friday in Troy, and it never looked back en route to beating Post 34 Tuscaloosa Navy 15-1 in five innings.

East Limestone jumped out in front 5-0 in the top of the first inning, as the first seven Post 49 batters singled and the first five batters came around to score.

East Limestone didn’t stop there, as they tacked on seven more runs in the second.

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“We got the bats hot early and that certainly helped us out,” said east Limestone head coach Earl Glaze.

The big second inning came on just three hits for Post 49, but it was able to take advantage of four second inning errors by Tuscaloosa Navy.

Errors played a huge role in the game. Tuscaloosa Navy committed eight errors and allowed eight unearned runs.

East Limestone, however, played a fundamentally sound game, committing no errors and allowing just three base runners.

Jackson Cruse led East Limestone at the plate, going 2-4 with three RBIs.

Brett Mansfield went 1-3 with two RBIs.

Samuel Medley, William Lamon, Christopher Shindorf, Chad Silcox and James Nunn all added an RBI each.

While the offense did put up some eye-catching numbers, East Limestone was also helped by a dominant pitching performance from Medley.

Medley pitched all five innings of the mercy rule-shortened game, striking out six and allowing one run on two hits.

Medley gave up his only run of the game on back-to-back hits, but retired the next eight batters he faced and did not allow another hit in the game.

Medley said the run support his team provided him with was a big help.

“It was a whole lot easier pitching with that kind of a lead,” Medley said. “It makes it easier to just go after their hitters instead of having to pitch the corners a lot.”

Glaze also gave credit to the offense for helping Medley out. “Anytime you’re out there on that mound with a 10-run lead, it just makes your job a whole lot easier,” Glaze said. “It just takes all the pressure off of you.”

For Tuscaloosa Navy, James Burkhalter has an RBI triple in the first inning to drive in Post 34’s only run. The only other hit for Tuscaloosa was a first-inning single by Christopher Hannig.

Following the win, East Limestone faces defending state champion Troy Post 70 at 4 p.m. today. Tuscaloosa Navy will face the West 49ers in the opening game today at 10 a.m.