Rockdale Post 77 falls in finals of POW-MIA
Team shut out 3-0 by Dothan, Ala.

DOUGLASVILLE - Rockdale Post 77 made a valiant effort over the weekend in the POW-MIA Tournament.

Unfortunately, the team fell one game short of winning the tournament, losing to Dothan, Ala., in the finals 3-0 on Sunday.

Rockdale started the tourney with wins over Grayson and Vienna on Thursday and Friday. Post 77 then split two games Saturday against Albany and Alpharetta.

Post 77 dropped a 6-5 decision to Albany, however, Rockdale rebounded with the 7-1 win over Alpharetta in the second game of the day. Alpharetta was previously undefeated in the tourney. With the win, Rockdale won their pool.

Against Albany, Rockdale scored one run in the third inning and four in the seventh, but it wasn't enough to pull out the win. Albany scored three in the third, two in the fourth and one in the sixth.

Rockdale scored its first run of the game against Albany off an RBI single by Nathan Fawbush. In the seventh, Rockdale scored off an RBI double by Chris Boyd, an RBI single by Chris Jackson and a two-run double by Jo Jo Bonet.

Against Alpharetta, Rockdale scored one in the first inning, one in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth. Alpharetta scored its only run in the first inning.

Alan Futch got the win on the mound after allowing just one earned run in five innings.

Rockdale made it 1-1 in the bottom of the first off an RBI single by Jeremy Reihn. Jackson's RBI single in the second inning gave Rockdale the lead which they never relinquished.

Rockdale scored in the third off RBI singles by Bonet, Futch and J.C. Dungan.

Fawbush provided an RBI double in the fourth to put Rockdale up 6-1. He later scored on a wild pitch to cap Post 77s scoring.

Rockdale kept its momentum Sunday with a 7-1 win over Douglasville. In that game, Rockdale scored two runs in the second inning, three in the third, one in the fourth and one in the sixth.

Joseph Lester's RBI double and a fielder's choice RBI by Corbin Tucker put Rockdale up 2-0 in the second.

Rockdale scored three runs in the third off a Bonet RBI double and a two-run homer by Futch. Marcus Smith made it a 6-0 game with an RBI double in the fourth. Rockdale's last run of the game came when Lester scored on a wild pitch in the sixth. Before crossing home plate, he walked, stole second and reached third on an error. Douglasville's only run of the game came in the fifth inning.

After striking out five of the first six batters, Dungan, who got the win, cruised through five innings en route to the win.

That win advanced Rockdale to the finals.

Unfortunately, Rockdale's run ended at the hands of Dothan as Post 77 was defeated 3-0.

"Every inning we threatened to score, we just couldn't get people in," Rockdale manager Jack Murphy said. "We stranded 16 runners in the game."

Despite falling short of winning the tournament, Murphy said he feels his team is starting to show what it's capable of doing.

"I felt like we made a pretty good run," he said. "We didn't play very well the first few games of the tournament, but I felt we played great against Alpharetta and Douglasville. Against Dothan, I felt like we dominated them in every aspect of the game, except the scoreboard. Still, the guys showed signs that we can be a pretty good team."

Rockdale plays again Saturday in a doubleheader with Loganville at West Walton Park.

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com