Legion Post 29 Juniors split double-header

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2005

It was a tale of two games–one a struggle, one coming easy–for the West Alabama American Legion Junior team Tuesday, as they recorded a split in a double-header played away at Northside.

In game 1 the Post 29 team never settled in at the plate, putting runners on base but never rallying as Northside claimed a 5-3 victory. But the Post 29 batters were more than ready to capitalize in weaker Northside pitching in game 2, running away with the win 9-2.

“We were able to put together some stuff in game 2,” said Junior team coach Jonathan Lynsey. “Their pitchers struggled some with their control, and when they did we took advantage.”

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Initially, game 2 looked it might follow in the tight footsteps of game 1, in which neither team took a lead larger than two runs. But after a third inning that left the teams tied at 2, the Post 29 bats took over. Led by Robbie Smith’s two hits and two runs scored and lead-off hitter Phil Farmer’s three runs scored on three consecutive trips on base, Post 29 scored three, one, and three runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings respectively to put the game away.

Collecting the win for Post 29 was starter Dustin Edwards, while Randy Martin pitched the final two innings without allowing a run. The win improved the teams’ record to 6-3 on the season.

With just a little more juice at the plate and a little bit of luck, Post 29 might have taken both halves of the double-header. Lynsey was more than satisfied with the performance of game 1 starting pitcher Patrick Castleman, but was frustrated by his team’s inconsistency at bat.

“Patrick pitched great,” he said, “but we just couldn’t put any hits together.”

Post 29 did manage two in the fourth and another run in the fifth, but each time homestanding Northside responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 2 and then 3, respectively. Two more runs in the sixth was enough for Northside as they held on for the win.

Things might have been different, however, if not for a controversial call in the fifth. Post 29’s Brent Bonner was at bat with runners on first and second when he sent a Northside pitch clear over the leftfield fence. The umpiring crew ruled the blast a foul ball, however, a decision Lynsey says he vehemently disagrees with.

“I thought it was clearly a fair ball,” he said, “but they didn’t see it that way and it made a big difference in the game.”

Bonner would go on to double in a run in that at-bat, but that run would be the last one Post 29 would score in the game.

The Post 29 Junior team will take the field again this Saturday as they host Lamar and South Tuscaloosa Blue in a day of round robin action at the SportPlex. The first game will begin at 1:00.