Post 34 shakes off the rust, sweeps two from Florence

Post 34’s Brett Davis, left, fields the ball and throws out Florence’s Lance Harris at first base during the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday. (Photo by Dusty Compton)

TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa American Legion Post 34 baseball team came from behind Tuesday, battling its way to a 6-3 win over Florence Post 11 in the first game of a doubleheader at Tuscaloosa Academy.

"We had to battle. It was a battle the whole day," first basemen Grant Stevens of Hale County High School said. "It wasn’t easy at all. They were good. We just had to keep pushing through."

The game was the team’s first after a nine-day break.

"They did a good job. You know this is our first game in nine days, so it was good to see us fight back through it," Post 34 coach Patrick Jones said.

"I expected us to start out a little slow. We’re just getting back into the swing of things, but you know we did a good job of battling and came out with some big hits when we needed them and it was good to see some guys come through."

Post 34 trailed 2-0 after Florence hit two home runs off pitcher Landen Davis from Sipsey Valley High.

"He did a good job of battling and he made two bad pitches and you know he paid for both of them, but he ended up getting the win," Jones said.

"That’s what we come to expect out of him …even when he doesn’t have his best stuff he’s still able to grind his way throughout. So I was proud of the way he went out and battled."

Davis threw 71 pitches in five innings, allowing nine hits. His relief, Collin Jolly from Sipsey Valley, pitched two scoreless innings with one hit and two strikeouts.

Post 34 was able to gain momentum in the bottom of the fifth inning when, with the bases loaded, Stevens hit a two-run double.

"I knew I had to get the job done. I had to have a big play," Stevens said.

Post 34 was able to hold Florence off the next two innings and Josh Winingham of Shelton State hit a sacrifice fly in the last inning to bring the final score to 6-3.

Brett Davis from Sweet Water was 2-for-4 at the plate with two singles and an RBI. James Clark from Heritage Academy was 1-for-3 with a double. Kyle Andrews was 1-for-2 with a single, an RBI and two stolen bases.

In Game 2, Post 34 exploded for a 14-2 win.

Cody Mills (4-1) recorded the win. He pitched five innings and gave up two runs on three hits with four strikeouts.

Brett Davis and John Caleb Digham went 2-for-3 and Braxton Rhodes was 2-for-2.

"You never know what to expect when you’ve taken this many days off in a row so we’re going to come out and give it our best shot," Jones said.