American Legion Jr. team wins regional

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 30, 2003

West Alabama may have had a familiar feeling Monday morning.

West Alabama pitcher Devin Goodwin pitched a complete-game five hitter against Macon (Ga.) as West Alabama won its second straight American Legion Regional championship with a 4-1 victory.

“We had a good day,” said West Alabama coach Tommy McDaniel.

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Both teams came into the championship game by winning their respective pools. Macon had put forth a potent offense through the tournament, but Monday, the bats were silenced. Macon did not score until the final inning when they tried to mount a rally.

“We came out flat today,” Macon head coach Neil Gordon said. “They scored a run in the first inning, and we played from behind after that.”

West Alabama got most of its offense in the first couple of innings. West Alabama scored three runs in the first and second innings, and they added one more in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead.

The lead was more than enough for Goodwin, who pitched a three-hit shutout through the first six innings.

“Devin’s got a great breaking ball and a good fastball,” McDaniel said. “We thought he matched up well with their pitcher, and he kept them off all day.”

Goodwin struggled a little in the final inning as he allowed a run and couple of hits. He was also the recipient of some bad luck in the inning. The first two hits were ground balls that barely made it out of the infield, and the second baseman kicked a one-out ground ball that should have been a game-ending double play.

But Goodwin settled down. He got Trent Faulkner to ground out to second. Then he got Brian Gordon to fly out to centerfield, leaving two runners on base.

“This is a pretty big park, so I knew he wouldn’t hit it out,” Goodwin said. “I left my fastball over the plate and he flew out to center.”

Bart Pettus scored West Alabama’s first run of the game in the first inning. He started the West Alabama offense by hitting a two-out double.

Seth Basinger singled to move Pettus to third, and Hunter Hawley singled to score Pettus.

Macon did not score in the top of the second, and West Alabama increased its lead in the bottom half of the inning.

Colby Roberts led off the inning with a single, and G.W. Washington hit a one-out single to move Roberts to third. Washington advanced to second on the throw from the outfield.

After Chad Schroeder lined out to the third baseman, Goodwin hit a two-out, two-run single to plate two more runs. He advanced to third when the center fielder’s throw went wild.

Neither team scored again until the fifth inning, when Pettus scored on Hawley’s RBI ground out to give West Alabama a 4-0 advantage.

Macon put three runners on base in the final inning and score one run, but Macon could not get the tying run on base. The final two batters represented the tying run, but both were put out.

Editor’s Note: It was not known at press time whether the West Alabama junior team would play in the World Series.