Post 70 off to a 2-0 start

Published 8:06 pm Friday, July 27, 2018

The Troy American Legion Post 70 19U baseball team raced out to a 4-0 lead, but it took a walk-off single from D.J. Law to give them a 7-6 win over Tuscaloosa Post 34 in the state tournament in Pelham.

The win came in the first of two games on Friday for Post 70. Post 70 carried over the momentum in a 6-2 win over Huntsville Post 237.

“We won both games, but it was two games that very easily could have gone the other way,” said head coach Rush Hixon. “We kind of came out flat in the first game. Fortunately, we got an early lead.”

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Despite the early struggles, the win in game one gave Post 70 momentum moving forward.

“We talked after the first game about things we needed to do differently,” Hixon said. “We came out in the second game and played better. We still play up to where we want to, but we did play better. Hopefully we put all that behind us and we got the rust off and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”

Charlie James got the call as the game one starter for Post 70. James pitched the first 5.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks. Dylan Register and Joey Wozniak closed out the contest by each picking up two outs in their outings.

Post 70 stormed out to their 4-0 lead in the first inning. Law walked with the bases loaded to get the scoring started. Both Logan Thompson and Ryan Tomlin followed suit with back-to-back walks to push Post 70’s lead to 3-0. Nate Renfroe drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Post 34 cut into Post 70’s lead over the next three innings. Tuscaloosa scored a run in both the third and fourth innings before scoring two in the fifth to even the score through four and half innings.

It didn’t stay tied for very long. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Post 70 retook the lead when Wozniak smacked a single to center to drive in Dylan Register.

With Post 70 up by one heading into the top of the seventh inning, Post 34 rallied to take their first lead of the game. Three walks plagued both Register and Wozniak that led to the leading run coming across home plate.

Register began the bottom of the seventh with a double to left. He came around to score the tying run on a Brayden Baggett single to tie the game. With one out in the inning, Law singled on a line drive to right field, allowing Baggett to score the winning run.

Register led Post 70 at the plate after going 2-3 with a walk, while also scoring three runs. Baggett, Wozniak, Law and Tomlin each had one hit.

Post 70 scored in each of the first three innings on their way to a 6-2 win over Hunstville in game two on Friday afternoon.

Cole Smith gave Post 70 a complete game effort after he went seven innings and allowed two unearned runs on six hits. He struck out four batters.

Register got the scoring started for Post 70 in the first inning when he singled on a line drive to center field, allowing Gage Herring to score.

Gabe Anderson scored on a passed ball in the second and Baggett scored on a bases-loaded walk to give Post 70 a 3-0 lead after three innings.

After Post 237 cracked the scoreboard with a single run in the third, Post 70 broke the game open with a three-run sixth inning.

Register picked up an RBI single and Thompson scored on a wild pitch.

Post 237 scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Register and Wozniak both picked up two hits in the win, while Anderson and Wood Jinright each had one.

With the two wins, Post 70 advances to the semifinals. They will begin at noon today in Pelham.

“We have to come out with a different level of intensity,” Hixon said. “We were flat today (Friday). Once they hit us in the mouth we came back. For us, it’s going to be big to play with energy and have a good pace of play from pitch one.”