Legion champs

Published 10:16 pm Monday, July 20, 2009

North Limestone brought home the Alabama American Legion junior State championship Monday, defeating its Post 49 counterpart East limestone 14-8.

The win for North Limestone brought its season to an end at a remarkable 33-0.

“They definitely deserve it,” said North Limestone head coach Hunter Royer. “For any team to play over thirty games and go undefeated is a huge accomplishment.”

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Especially impressive was the fact that North Limestone won the championship short-handed.

Five of North’s players left Sunday night to go on a mission trip, something Royer said his team responded positively to.

“They did a good job responding to that,” Royer said.

“It hurts anytime you lose five guys, especially five guys who were as integral to the team as they were. Those were five guys that played in every game we had.”

However, other player stepped up in their stead and got the job done.

“But, other guys stepped up and got some big hits,” Royer said. “I think that makes it a little bit sweeter since we had to have other guys step up and contribute to get it done.”

North jumped out in front in eth bottom of the first inning, going up 4-0.

East responded with six straight runs to take a 6-4 lead. North scored a run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 6-5 before blowing the game open in the bottom of the fourth.

North scored seven runs on seven hits in the fourth, taking the lead on an RBI single by Steven Bennett.

12 of North’s runs came off of East Limestone ace Samuel Medley, who had pitched a complete game two-hitter earlier in the tournament.

“Medley’s a very good player,” Royer said. “He’ll have a god career after high school is over. Obviously, he’s a special kind of player. Our kids were ready for the challenge, though. All these kids play high school together, so they’re familiar with each other.”

East Limestone head coach Earl Glaze said Medley performed admirably.

“Medley has been great all year, but they just kind of had his number today,” Glaze said.

East Limestone was able to score another run in the seventh on an RBI single by Javin Thatch, but Will Lamon was thrown out trying to advance to third to end the game.

Bennett, who went 4-4 with 3 RBI, led North Limestone.

Medley went 2-4 with a homer for East, earning him the honor of being named Tournament MVP.

“Medley’s just been great all around,” Glaze said.

“He’s been big for us and for him to get MVP is a big accomplishment for him.”

Despite the tough loss, Glaze said his team had exceeded expectations.

“We just kind of ran out of gas,” Glaze said. “Nobody really expected us to be playing today. This is our high school team.

“We didn’t bring in any other players from other high schools, and we’re one of the few teams down here that just use players from the high school team.

“ This will be good for our high school going forward. This could wind up being the key to our success. Hopefully, we have helped to build something special this summer.”