Tuscaloosa Navy bounces back

Published 11:46 pm Saturday, July 18, 2009

Post 34 Tuscaloosa Navy bounced back in a big way on the second day of the Alabama American Legion Junior State Tournament Saturday, defeating the West 49ers 12-2.

Tuscaloosa Navy lost its opening round game against East Limestone 15-1, but was able to shake off the effects of its poor first day performance.

“Yesterday was probably the worst game we’ve played all year,” said Tuscaloosa Navy head coach Josh Cagle. “We just came out flat. We didn’t hit, we didn’t pitch well and we sure didn’t play defense.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

While the Tuscaloosa offense managed just two hits on Friday, it exploded for 16 hits Saturday.

“We just came out and hit the ball a lot better,” Cagle said.

Tuscaloosa jumped on top in the first inning when Christopher Hannig hit an RBI single to score Evan Harrison. Tuscaloosa would never trail in the game.

Third baseman Stuart Terry led the offensive attack for Tuscaloosa, going a perfect 5-5 at the plate with 3 RBIs and two runs scored.

“I just came out today and played well,” Terry said. “I don’t think they pitched their best game and we were able to take advantage.”

Cagle was proud of Terry’s production at the plate.

“He really stepped it up today,” Cagle said. “He hit the ball real well. He’s been real consistent all year long, I moved him down in the lineup to try and get him to be able to see more fastballs and he responded.”

Terry said his big day at the plate was just part of a complete effort by the entire Tuscaloosa team.

“Everybody hit the ball well, but I just had a lucky day, I guess,” Terry said.

Terry’s teammates did contribute in a big way, as Harrison, Hannig, Evan Sims and Hunter Purvis all drove in two runs each.

Sims had three hits, while Harrison and Hannig both went 2-4.

While offense was the key, Tuscaloosa also had a strong performance by its starting pitcher, Joshua Winingham.

“Our pitcher pitched an excellent game for us today,” Cagle said.

Willingham pitched a complete game, allowing just one earned run on five hits. He also truck out seven batters.

With the win, Tuscaloosa Navy is now 1-1 in Pool B play and will need a little help to catch pool leader East Limestone.

Terry, for one, isn’t ready to give up just yet.

“We’re working well as a team and I just hope we can come out tomorrow and score some more runs and try to get back in this thing,” Terry said.

Cagle said his team’s ability to bounce back from adversity is a good sign going forward.

“We had a long talk last night and they were able to bounce back today,” Cagle said. “Hopefully, we can get back in this thing now.”

Tuscaloosa will wrap up Pool B play Sunday at 1 p.m. against Troy Post 70.

The West 49ers will finish their Pool B play Sunday against East Limestone at 4 p.m.