American Legion team wins second straight district title
Kim West, Franklin County Times
FLORENCE – The American Legion Post 33 baseball team is 2-for-2 at the district tournament.
"We've only been playing two years, but we've won the district tournament both years," Post 33 coach Brett Whiteside said. "Last year we primarily had Russellville and Haleyville players, and this year we added a couple of Phil Campbell players."
Local players included Russellville High School's Jake Ward, Corey Flanagan, Torey Baird, Mark Davis, John Batchelor and Matthew Crawford and Phil Campbell's Korey Pounders and Caleb Thompson.
The Post 33 team went 5-1 in the District I tournament held July 19-22 at the Florence High School baseball field and defeated Florence's Post 11 8-4 in the final game last Sunday to win the championship.
In the first game of district, pitchers Trey McNutt, Thompson and Ryan Forester combined for the 10-4 win. Ward had three hits, and Flanagan and Baird added two.
Post 33 won the second game by forfeit and the third by beating Post 11 thanks to a 3-2 complete game pitched by McNutt. Baird hit the game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh.
After losing the fourth game 3-0 to Post 11, Post 33 bounced back to win the deciding game 8-4.
Flanagan drove in the tying run to make the score 2-2 in the fifth when Drew Whiteside hit a two-RBI single to put Post 33 ahead 4-2.
After allowing four more runs, Post 11 tacked on two runs to make the final score 8-4.
Thompson earned the win with six strikeouts, and Ward pitched the final strikeout to get the save.
Post 33 was scheduled to face Tuscaloosa Academy's Post 34 Friday afternoon in the state tournament opening game, and then play either yesterday morning or afternoon, depending on the outcome of Friday's game.