Cony­ers Post 77's stir­ring run falls short in state fi­nal

Al­covy's Thomas, Jack­son lead the way in fi­nal games

The Covington News - - Sports - Bryan Fazio sports@cov­

The Amer­i­can Le­gion state base­ball tour­na­ment started out headed in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions for the two Post 77 teams, be­fore fin­ish­ing at op­po­site des­ti­na­tions.

For Post 77 Rock­dale, the open­ing game of the tour­na­ment held in Al­bany re­sulted in an 18-2 win over the host team. Judg­ing by the re­sult things seemed to be go­ing well for Jack Mur­phy's team, which won its sec­ond game 20-11 against Lees­burg.

How­ever in that sec­ond game, Rock­dale had Lees­burg down early and let it get back in it, caus­ing Post 77 to use up some valu­able pitch­ing.

That trend con­tin­ued in a 14-4 loss to even­tu­alcham­pion Douglasville, leav­ing Rock­dale light on pitch­ers for their fi­nal game against Cony­ers.

"We had to keep us­ing pitch­ers in back-to-back games, we even brought in an out­fielder to pitch against Douglasville," Mur­phy said. "When pitch­ing goes south, that's what hap­pens.

Rock­dale played well through­out the reg­u­lar sea­son, earn­ing a No. 2 seed in the tour­na­ment, but couldn't get enough play­ers at the ball­park through­out the year.

"We had a good sea­son, I think in the fi­nal count we were like 24-9 or some­thing like that," Mur­phy said. "It was kind of a tough sea­son for us. Even though we had a good record, we never had all 18 play­ers there at the same time, which we needed too."

For Post 77's other base­ball team the state tour­na­ment didn't start out nearly as well, leav­ing its coach, Ed­die Bag­well think­ing he was in for an early exit.

Cony­ers fell into the loser's bracket in the open­ing game, fall­ing to Lo­ganville 8-0. How­ever, af­ter its ini­tial loss, Cony­ers was able to fi­nally find its bats for the first time in weeks, just one loss away from go­ing home.

Af­ter av­er­ag­ing about two runs a game, Cony­ers de­feated Lees­burg 160, fol­lowed by a 9-3 win over Lo­ganville.

"The way we've been play­ing lead­ing up to the tour­na­ment and in the first game, I was bet­ting we were go­ing home,"

Bag­well said. "But I was ex­tremely proud of the way we bat­tled back. We showed great in­ner for­ti­tude, in­ten­sity and te­nac­ity, and they picked it up."

Cony­ers con­tin­ued to show the in­ten­sity against Rock­dale, win­ning 16-2, and Douglasville, win­ning 9-7 to set up a re­peat for the state cham­pi­onship.

The bats of Beau Thomas, Seth Allen and Randy Loew, along with the pitch­ing arm of Tay­lor Jack­son led the way for Cony­ers, as Bag­well said all four de­serve recog­ni­tion.

"If we would have won it we would have had

"If we would have won it we would have had three or four can­di­dates for MVP in Beau Thomas, Tay­lor Jack­son, Seth Allen and Randy Loew. All of them just had great tour­na­ments." — Ed­die Bag­well, Post 77 coach

three or four can­di­dates for MVP in Beau Thomas, Tay­lor Jack­son, Seth Allen and Randy Loew. All of them just had great tour­na­ments."

Cony­ers then fell just short, as they played 45 in­nings, com­pared to their op­po­nent Douglasville, who played 22 head­ing into the fi­nal game. Douglasville won 19-12 on Mon­day.

"Ob­vi­ously we would have liked to win it, but we didn't and I was ex­tremely pleased with the way we fin­ished," Bag­well said. "We fin­ished with a bang and had Douglasville on the ropes. With just a lit­tle more pitch­ing we maybe could have won it, and that would have been sur­prise of cen­tury."

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