Post 70 opens state tourney with 10-4 win over Haleyville

Published 9:44 pm Thursday, July 17, 2014

Troy Post 70 knew what the game plan was and used it to perfection in the first round of the Alabama American Legion Baseball 2014 Senior D2 State Tournament Thursday.

Troy grabbed the lead in their first at-bat, and scored eight runs in the fifth and sixth inning to ease to a 10-4 win over Haleyville Post 33.

“We have been really struggling offensively the last couple of weeks, and really wanted to simplify things this week,” said Troy head coach Tanner Hicks. “We told them to swing at strikes and hit the fastball. That is exactly what they did. It becomes fun for us to watch them do something they are proud to do.”

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Troy used three hits in the fifth inning, including a pair of doubles, to score three runs and give itself a little breathing room. Post 70 used its small-ball philosophy to get a run in, and put another on for John Kelsoe.

Kelsoe then doubled to the deepest part of the yard at Riddle-Pace Field to plate another Troy run. Parker Watts followed Kelsoe’s double with one his own to give Troy a 4-1 lead.

Troy scratched out five more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, before quelling a late Haleyville rally in the top of the seventh.

Jacob Free led Troy at the plate, going 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs. Free also scored two runs.

Kelsoe went the distance on the mound for Troy. In seven innings of work, Kelsoe scattered seven hits and walked three.

“John has been great for us all year long,” Hicks said. “He is a little lefty. He isn’t a guy that is going to blow it by a lot of people, but he understands how to pitch. He came out a mentality that said ‘I’m going to win today’ and that is fun to see as a coach.”

Troy will meet Baseball County in the second round of the tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday.