Tuscaloosa Post 34 shuts down Bessemer


Tuscaloosa Post 34 pitcher Landen Davis, above, combined with Braxton Rhodes to record a 7-1 win on Wednesday. (Photo by Dusty Compton | Tuscaloosa News)


TUSCALOOSA | Behind dominant pitching from Landen Davis and Braxton Rhodes, the Tuscaloosa Post 34 baseball team made easy work of Bessemer Post 149 on Wednesday with a 7-1 victory at Tuscaloosa Academy in the first game of a doubleheader.

Game 2 was being played late Wednesday night.

Davis, of Sipsey Valley High School, retired the Post 149 lineup in order before allowing his first base runner — on an infield single — leading off the fourth inning. Rhodes (Fayette County) allowed just an unearned run over three innings of relief, and struck out three straight batters to finish the sixth.

“Landen hadn’t thrown in awhile. I knew we wouldn’t see his best stuff. But he did a really good job of grinding through it,” Post 34 coach Patrick Jones said. “He took a perfect game into the fourth inning. He’s a really good kid, he’s young, and it’s fun to watch him pitch. When he knows he doesn’t have his best stuff, he’s still able to go out and get outs.”

Davis and Rhodes struck out eight with just one walk between them, and benefited from errorless defense. Left fielder Cody Mills (Sipsey Valley) highlighted the defensive effort with a diving catch on the left field line.

“Cody, he’s not even used to playing outfield. We’re working him out there a little bit, we’re a little shorthanded in the outfield,” Jones said. “... It was great to see him be able to make that play, which was tough because it came off a left-handed bat.”

The doubleheader was delayed by more than 30 minutes as Post 149 did not have enough players to take the field at the scheduled 5 p.m. start time.

“They were short a couple guys, so we gave them some time to get their guys here and get ready. We need to play,” Jones said. “We’ve had a couple forfeits in the last couple weeks, a lot of rainouts this past weekend. We needed to play to get some arms loose and throwing on the mound to get ready for (tournament play) this weekend.”

Grant Stevens (Hale County) hit three singles with two RBIs and a stolen base, and Parker Farley (Tuscaloosa Academy) singled, doubled and scored twice. Still, Jones indicated his team showed signs of rust offensively.

“We looked like a team that hadn’t played in awhile. We were way out in front of pitches and we were struggling to stay back,” Jones said. “We did show some resiliency in scoring in four out of six (innings). You’ve got to be happy with that.”

 

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.