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Post 77 opens state tourney with lopsided win

Rockdale Post 77 got the Georgia State American Legion Tournament off to a fine start Thursday. Kyle Spinks pitched six strong innings and the Post 77 offense came alive in a 14-2 victory in seven innings over Leesburg Post 182 in the tournament’s opening round.

Rockdale, the No. 2 seed, played the winner of Loganville Post 233 and Alpharetta Post 201 Friday at 1 p.m.

Spinks, a Union Grove High School graduate who is headed to Georgia Southwestern State, struck out seven and didn’t allow an earned run in an 83-pitch effort.

“Spinks is a good pitcher, we figured we’d go with our pitchers and let the chips fall where they fall,” said Rockdale coach Jack Murphy.

The right-hander got a lot of help from a Rockdale offense that had just its third double-digit scoring game of the season. Newton High School graduate Allen Bowen had four hits, including a three-run double as part of a five-run fourth inning. That put Post 77 up 9-2, and later, during a four-run fifth, Mitch Henley delivered his second two-run single of the day to give Rockdale a 13-2 cushion.

“We don’t normally score 14 runs in a month, it’s not like us to score a lot of runs,” said Murphy. “We did hit the ball better than we had in a long time. Maybe we’re finally going to start hitting the ball a little bit, it sure would help.”

The game was tied at 2-2 before Rockdale took the lead for good in the third. Bowen singled and Cameron Ragsdale walked, then the pair executed a double steal. Henley followed with his first two-run single to make it 4-2.

Top seed Covington Post 32 received a first-round bye and will play the winner of Thursday’s late game between Albany Post 30-Douglasville Post 145 winner Friday at 10 a.m.