Rockdale’s Casey Shubert beats the throw at the plate, scoring for Post 77 in the third inning to make it 12-0 against Peachtree City on Saturday. (Staff photo: Manny Fils)
CONYERS — Rockdale Post 77 seems to be ready for the American Legion state tournament after blanking Peachtree City Post 50 16-0 in seven innings on Saturday.
Rockdale had all aspects of their game working as starting pitcher Cameron Ragsdale threw for five innings where he gave up three hits and one walk while striking out three batsman. Evan Aldermann had one hit in one inning of work while Jake Wright retired all three batter he faced to close out the game.
“It’s a good win because we got some guys in there pitching that haven’t been healthy,” Rockdale head coach Demarco Hamm said. “It seems like they didn’t have any rust, they came in and did their job. That’s always a good thing. We have some guys that are getting back in there healthy like Jake and Evans. It’s always a good sign as we get ready for state. Cameron started the game for us and did a real good job. He’s only been pitching every now and then so we’re trying to get him stretched out for the state run.”
Offensively, Post 77 was patient when they had to be as they were walked seven times while getting 14 hits. They also took one for the team getting hit four times.
Aldermann, Ragsdale and Musashi Briem had two walks each while Cole Murphy got hit twice.
Casey Shubert led the team at the plate with three hits with Zack Bailey, Josh Smith and Murphy getting two hits each.
“I got fast balls and I wanted to hit them,” Shubert said.
Peyton Pallay and Wright drove in the majority of the runs with three RBIs each with Briem driving in two more.
Of their 14 hits, five were for extra-bases with Murphy getting two doubles while Bailey, Briem and Pallay got one each.
“We have one more game (today) against Dawsonville. That will be a tone setter going to state. It’s definitely good for momentum,” Hamm said. “Even though we won by large margins we still haven’t hit our stride. We still have some guys that are out of the lineup. Wins like (Saturday) and Thursday kind of shows what kind of depth we have and that’s a good thing.”
Rockdale’s defense was also solid as it did not commit any errors while turning two double plays. In the first double play, Wright overthrew the first baseman trying to get the runner off base after catching a fly ball. However, Shubert’s alert play and the runner’s lack of knowing his surroundings allowed Shubert to get him at second base for the inning-ending out.
“I heard someone yell two (second base) and I looked up and he was jogging so I just threw it just to try,” Shubert said. “He was mad at his teammates for not yelling anything for him.”
Post 77 had little trouble against Peachtree City, scoring five runs in the first inning on one hit, four walks, an error and a hit batter. It scored two more times in the second before adding five runs in the third and four in the fourth inning.
On Thursday against Loganville, Post 77 also had no trouble with Loganville Post 233, winning 11-1 in seven innings.
Murphy led the way with three hits and three RBIs, Wright added three hits and two RBIs and Briem chipped in with two hits and two RBIs for Post 77.
“One of those nights, it was contagious,” Hamm said. “Be honest, we’re getting a lot of guys that haven’t played much this year, state’s around the corner. I’ve yet to put my full complement of players together in the lineup; just trying to get everyone some playing time right now.”
On the mound, the Smiths had complete control over Loganville. Eric Smith started and tossed four superb innings, allowing just three hits to get the victory. Josh Smith closed out the victory, pitching the final three innings and surrendering two hits and an earned run.
“I really don’t have any concerns what we can do on the mound,” Hamm said. “As long as everyone’s healthy, I feel pretty confident anyone I throw out there.”
Citizen sports writer Kurt Aschermann contributed to this article.