CONYERS - American Legion Post 77 took a twin bill from the Grayson River Rats in formidable fashion Thursday at Legion Field in its 2008 debut.
Post 77 opened the season with Kelvan Diaz on the mound in the first game, getting a 3-1 decision for the hometown Legionnaires.
In the second game, it was a cake walk for Post 77, as the local squad won convincingly, 14-5.
During the first game, Diaz held the River Rats scoreless for six innings, striking out six while walking two and giving up just one run.
Post 77 scored the first run of the game in the third inning when center fielder Nick Matteen singled to left. After advancing to second on a wild pitch by Chris Meredith, Eastside High's Jared Trust roped a single to the outfield gap to plate Matteen.
Post 77 picked up another run in the fourth to lead, 2-0, when Patrick Jansen singled up the middle, driving home Travis Tarleton who had previously walked.
Post 77 got the final run of the game in the fifth when Ryan Jubron singled, stole second and came home on a wild pitch, giving his team its first win of the season.
In the second game, Post 77 completely dominated the River Rats, resulting in the same result - a win.
By the sixth frame, the River Rats' outfielders were lying on their backs in center field while the infielders were on their knees at second base, as if pleading to a higher being for mercy.
The game began as if the visitors were going to avenge their earlier loss; however, as they allowed a run in the opening inning to trail early. The River Rats plated four more runs to take a 5-0 lead after four innings of play.
Post 77 scored a run in the fifth when Matteen singled and stole second, then came home on a wild pitch before the close of the inning.
Post 77 coach Eddie Bagwell opted to look to the bullpen in the top of the sixth, sparing starter Jake Dyer and summoning Eastside's Bobby Coggins.
Coggins pitched one-third of an inning before giving way to Chase Ware, who was the winning pitcher.
Post 77 won the game in the sixth inning after scoring eight runs, with most of those coming by way of wild pitches. But there were also a few timely hits which contributed to the onslaught, taking away the hearts of the River Rats.
Dyer ended with four strikeouts, allowing three hits, zero walks and zero runs.
Bagwell was pleased after the victory, particularly of his pitching staff and hitters regarding their first outing of the season.
"I think our pitching stepped up," he said. "We got a good start out of Diaz and Dyer.
"We got good relief from Matteen, Ware, Coggins and Clint Ogle," Bagwell continued. "We got timely hitting finally after struggling all day."