Post 70 cruises to easy win

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 21, 2017

Post 70 had a seven-run sixth inning on their way to a 12-2 win over Cullman Post 4 on Thursday afternoon to kick off the American Legion State Baseball Tournament in Huntsville.

Both teams combined to score just four runs over the first four.

“We came out of the gates a little sluggish,” said head coach Rush Hixon. “We finally got into a rhythm and got the big hits that mattered. In the sixth inning we just blew it open and we were really fun to watch. Everyone was hitting and guys were doing everything right.”

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Graham Wilkes got the start for Post 70. He went three innings and allowed two runs, one of which was earned on three hits. Nathan Light pitched the three middle innings and allowed one hit, two walks and struck out three batters. Mackenzie Hicks pitched the final inning.

“They threw really well,” Hixon said. “ Overall I thought they went out there and competed well, all three of them. That was very good to see. Hopefully that will carry on throughout the tournament.”

Post 70 finished with 16 hits. Logan Thompson had a five-hit game and drove in four runs to lead Post 70.

“All summer we knew what he was capable of,” Hixon said. “He hasn’t really broken out all summer. For him to go out there and do that is not surprising to us one bit. It’s really good for him moving forward.”

Hunter Jones, Bryson Gandy, Casey Henderson and Jackson Tate each had two hits.

Cullman took the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Post 70 immediately answered in their first at bat to take a 2-1 lead.

Thompson drove in both runs with one swing of the bat when he singled to center to drive in Tate and Gandy.

Cullman evened the score at 2-2 in the third.

In the fifth Post 70’s bats started to heat up. Gandy led off the inning with a triple and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by John Miller. After doubling to center Thompson scored on a single by Jackson Murphy to give Post 70 the 4-2 lead.

Troy blew the game open in the sixth inning. Miller drove in the first two runs of when he singled in both Tate and Gage Herring. Miller later came around to score on a single by Thompson to make it 7-2. Santiago Garcia drove in a run on an error to bring the score to 8-2.

Thompson and Garcia on base, Casey Henderson hit an inside the park home run to put Post 70 up 11-2.

They scored their final run of the game in the seventh on a single by Thompson to end the game after seven.

Troy will wrap up pool play this afternoon when they take on Florence Post 11 beginning at 4 p.m. Following pool play the teams will be seeded for a single-elimination tournament beginning on Saturday.

“It’s huge to get out in pool play and take care of business early,” Hixon said. “We did it in seven innings also and that saved pitching in a tournament where pitching is huge. It was huge to get that one under our belt and get our feet wet. Hopefully moving forward in pool play it will give us some momentum.”