With a fifth straight outstanding start from a starting pitcher and a little bit of the usual from the top of its order, Albemarle Post 74 kept it’s season alive by taking down Jacksonville Post 88 in the first round of the Southeast Region tournament, 5-1.
“Austin Turner came out and set the tone for us, just throwing strikes,” said Albemarle coach Mike Maynard. “It was a pitchers duel up until the fourth. I thought this was Austin’s best start of the season, so he had great timing. The defense also played great. We made very few mistakes.”
Turner, who had eight days off from his previous start, did Albemarle a big favor to help save some of its arm. The Albemarle High graduate struck out eight batters, and went seven and a third innings to make it an easy night of work for the bullpen. William Monroe’s Dustin Knight finished off the eighth inning and former Dragon Jordan Gentry took to the mound for the first time since the District 13 tournament to close out the ninth. Combined, Turner, Knight and Gentry gave up just four hits.
At the plate, Post 74 had a handful of players with multiple hits. Keegan Woolford got Albemarle started with a 2-run double and finished 2 for 4. Lonnie Dillard went 2 for 3 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Jeff Early went 2 for 2 with a run scored. The MVP of the VALB tourney last week, Austin Batten finished without an at-bat, but drew three walks though, stole a pair of bases and put down a sacrifice. Mary Washington’s Conner Lilley finished 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Albemarle moves on to play in the semifinals on to face the host of the tournament, Asheboro Post 45 out of North Carolina on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Post 74 plans to start Ty Pittman on the hill who earned one of the two wins against Danville Post 325 in last week’s state tournament.
Fans can tune into live coverage of Albemarle vs. Asheboro on WKXR both through the internet or on their smart phones. Click here to go to their website.