North Limestone dominates again

Published 11:51 pm Saturday, July 18, 2009

North Limestone Post 49 appears to be on its way to the championship game of the Alabama American Legion Junior State Tournament, this after posting its second straight shutout win with a 12-0 mercy rule shortened drubbing of Post 34 Tuscaloosa Red Saturday afternoon.

North Limestone has played two games at the state tournament, allowing no runs and just four hits.

The pitching ace this time out for North Limestone was Grant Bennett, who pitched a complete game, three-hit shutout.

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“Grant (Bennett) did a great job today,” said North Limestone head coach Hunter Royer. “It was just like yesterday where he was getting his off-speed pitches over the plate and he was kind of overpowering them out there. Honestly, it didn’t look like they had much of a chance out there. He was that good today.”

Bennett said he had to shake the nervous jitters that came with playing in a state tournament.

“At first, I was real nervous, but once I was able to get out there and start throwing strikes and get ahead of hitters, I eased up a whole lot,” Bennett said.

Bennett walked just one while striking out ten batters.

North Limestone has definitely flexed its proverbial pitching muscle thus far, something Bennett said gives it an advantage.

“Our pitching depth helps us out a whole bunch,” Bennett said. “When you don’t allow the other team to make solid contact with the ball, they put fewer balls in play and that helps to make less of a chance of errors.”

While pitching has been the story for North Limestone, the offense did come through in a big way Saturday.

“We hit the ball up and down the lineup, one through nine,” Royer said. “There’s really not much else you can say about an offensive showing like that.”

Royer said his hitters saw something they liked in Tuscaloosa’s pitching early on.

“We had a lot of confidence after that first inning because we hit three balls real hard,” Royer said. “Even though we didn’t score, it showed us that we could hit their pitching, so that kind of started it all.”

The big inning for North Limestone was the fourth, when it posted nine runs on seven hits to go up 12-0.

Bennett helped his own cause by leading the North Limestone offense, going 2-2 with three RBIs.

Justin Riddle went 3-4 with three RBIs, while James Smith and Joseph Chambers drove in two runs each.

North Limestone can wrap up a berth in Monday’s championship game with a win over Post 80 Andalusia Sunday at 10 a.m.

Tuscaloosa Red will finish its Pool A play Sunday against Florence Post 11 at 7 p.m.