eliminated: Post 70 fails to get hits when needed, knocked out of tournament after two losses Sunday
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, July 28, 2015
The Troy Post 70 American Legion baseball team ended its summer season with back-to-back losses in the American Legion Baseball Senior State Tournament.
Troy lost to Florence Post 11, 7-5, and Post 34 11-10.
Prior to the two losses on Sunday Post 70 was riding high after beating both Bessemer and Wiregrass Sports Academy to put them just one win away from clinching a spot in the championship round on Monday.
“We have talked several times about how our lack of hitting with runners in scoring position has plagued us all summer and it happened all again,” said Post 70 head coach John Rushing.
The lack of clutch hitting stuck with Post 70 in both games.
“In the first game we couldn’t get the hit when we needed it and in the second game we finally made it happen in the last inning,” Rushing said. “If we would have played the entire tournament like we did the bottom of the ninth inning in game two, the result would have been much different.”
Post 70 took an early lead in the first inning over Florence on Sunday morning when a Christopher Simon double scored Tyler Sheehan and Dustin Jordan.
Pitcher Zach Lightsey held Post 11 scoreless until the third and the fourth innings, when they broke through with a run each to tie the game. In the fifth inning Post 11 broke out with three runs, gaining a 5-2 lead.
Post 70 didn’t waste any time they came back and tied the game in the top of the sixth inning with three runs of their own.
With one out in the inning Hunter Baggett was hit by a pitch and Rush Hixon singled. Followed by another walk to Sheehan, Jordan doubled scoring both Hixon and Baggett to draw Post 70 to within one run.
Simon grounded out to third scoring Sheehan to tie the game.
Post 11 added their final run in the eight inning sending Post 70 to the losers bracket.
Troy finished the game with just four hits: Hixon finished the game with two hits, Jordan and Simon both finished with a hit apiece.
In game two, Post 70 again took an early lead in the first inning when Lightsey singled in Baggett to give Troy the 1-0 lead.
A couple of four-run innings in the second and fourth gave Post 34 a big lead, but Post 70 battled back in the fourth inning. After three straight walks loaded the bases, Chase Hartley grounded out scoring Simon. Following the groundout Riley Jobin doubled, driving in both Jordan and Keith Johnson.
Down by six runs, Troy battled back in the ninth inning. Baggett, Hixon, and Lighsey all singled to begin the inning, After a Sheehan double scored 4, Simon singled scoring Lightsey and Jordan doubled scoring both Sheehan and Simon to bring Post 70 within just one run.
Jordan made it as far as third base but no further, as Hartley lined out to end the game.
“I was very pleased that we went down fighting and we didn’t just give up,” Rushing said.