CLOSE CALL: Troy Post 70 19U beats Bessemer Post 149 6-5 in American Legion Baseball Senior State Tourney
Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 25, 2015
Troy’s Post 70 edged out a 6-5 win over Bessemer Post 149 in the opening round of the Alabama American Legion Baseball Senior State Tournament.
Even though both teams combined to score 11 runs it really turned out to be a game of missed opportunities.
“We got out of a lot of trouble, and their pitchers got out of a lot of trouble,” said Post 70 head coach John Rushing. “We had a chance to blow it open several times but we just couldn’t get the hit we needed. It kind of went both ways today. Neither team could get a hit when they really had to have it.”
Post 149 got things started in the first inning when an error and walks loaded the bases. Zach Ray singled, scoring Alex Antonio.
In the second inning Post 70 answered back, thanks in part to six walks. Zach Lightsey scored on a Brody Wynne’s walk and Riley Jobin scored on a Rush Hixon sacrifice fly. Keith Johnson closed out the inning on a wild pitch for the third run of the inning.
Post 149 drew a little closer in the top half of the third when Joseph Calvert reached bas on a single and came around to score on a throwing error by Hunter Baggett.
Post 70 pushed its lead out just a little bit further in the fourth as Johnson and Wynne began the inning with base hits. A Hixon bunt moved the runners and A fielder’s choice let Johnson score and and Tyler Sheehan drove in Wynne on a sacrifice fly to push Troy’s lead to 5-2.
Christopher Simon blasted a deep homerun to left field to extend Post 70’s lead to 6-2.
For pitcher Matthew Marler, the wheels came off in the in the top half of the seventh.
After a couple of walks, a sacrifice bunt scored a run, and Bessemer knocked in two more runs in the inning to pull within one.
Marler failed to make it out of the inning it, but he finished the game giving up two runs, neither earned.
“We have been trying to push him to going seven innings for us,” Rushing said. “He hasn’t thrown seven innings very often this year, so he started to run out of gas a little bit in the seventh inning.
In the top of the eighth inning Post 149 flirted with evening the game at six. Post 149 got first two runners on base before coach Rushing decided to bring in Austin Fain to close out the inning.
Fain picked off Stewart Franklin at first and followed that up with strikeouts to both Rafael Caballers and Jody Graves to end the inning.
Post 70 finished the game with seven hits Friday afternoon. Lightsey led the way with two hits on the afternoon.
After the win against Post 149, Post 70 advances to play Wiregrass Sports Academy at 10 a.m. today.