PELHAM, Ala. -- Through two innings, Thursday’s game between the Jefferson City American Legion Post 5 Seniors and Troy (Ala.) Post 70 was on pace to be a high-scoring affair.
Troy’s Walker Stallworth had other plans.
Stallworth allowed just two hits in 5⅔ innings of relief, guiding Post 70 to a 12-5 victory against the Post 5 Seniors in a winner’s bracket game at the American Legion Mid-South Regional at Bobby Hayes Stadium.
Both teams scored one run in the first inning and four runs in the second inning.
Troy continued to score in each of the next four innings, while Stallworth kept Jefferson City to five runs for the rest of the game.
Calen Kruger opened the bottom of the first inning for the Post 5 Seniors with a single to left field. He stole both second and third base and scored on a throwing error to tie the game at 1.
Facing a four-run deficit entering the bottom of the second, Jefferson City sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning.
Jacob Schulte was hit by a pitch to start the inning, then Jack Robertson singled. Both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt and they both scored on Luke Cavender’s triple to right field to cut the deficit to two runs.
Nick Jeffries singled to right field, scoring Cavender, and Jace Kesel drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs that scored Kruger, tying the game at 5.
Stallworth walked two batters in the second inning, including Kesel, but he followed that by retiring 13 of the next 14 batters he faced.
Troy took the lead on an RBI groundout by Tanner Taylor in the third inning. Brooks Bryan hit a two-run home run to center field in the fourth, stretching Post 70’s lead to 8-5.
Drew Shiver hit a sacrifice fly to left field in the fifth inning and Shelton Arroyo put the game out of reach with a three-run homer to right field in the sixth, giving Troy a seven-run lead.
Jaden Kolb pitched the first 1⅔ innings for the Post 5 Seniors, allowing five unearned runs on four hits and striking out one.
Holden Brand took the loss, pitching the next 1⅔ innings. He gave up three runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Hunter Berendzen threw the final 3⅔ innings for Jefferson City, allowing four runs on four hits.
Nate Roark had the only multihit game for the Post 5 Seniors, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
Stallworth was the winning pitcher for Troy. He walked three, struck out five and didn’t allow a hit until Roark and Kesel hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Bryan and Arroyo combined for four hits and seven RBI to lead the Post 70 offense.
Troy (26-4) advances in the winner’s bracket to play Tupelo (Miss.) Post 49 (34-1) at 4 p.m. today.
The Post 5 Juniors (25-6-1) falls into the loser’s bracket and will play an elimination game against Pittsburg (Kan.) Post 64 at 10 a.m. today. Pittsburg (17-11-1) kept its regional championship hopes alive with an 11-0 win in five innings Thursday against the host team, Shelby County (Ala.) Post 555.