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Fast start for Post 77 baseball
keith-buckhalter legion game pic

American Legion Post 77 may be fielding just one team this year, but six games in, it is winning enough for two.

The Jack Murphy coached team has one each of its first six games rounding out this week with a 16-5 win over Loganville Wednesday and a 7-5 victory over Douglasville on Thursday.

Prior to that, Post 77 won four games over the weekend, beating Peachtree City and Alpharetta in doubleheaders.
Murphy credited his players abilities and mind-set on the fast start.

"We've got a good group of guys that are very athletic," Murphy said. "Plus we're older. Our team is graduated seniors and college freshman; we only have one sophomore and one junior. Our team is much more mature than most of the teams in Georgia we're probably going to be playing this year."

Due to their extended tenure, Post 77's players may also be more used to winning than some of their competition.

"Another thing is all of our ball players are used to winning, because they come from winning teams," Murphy said. "I like that attitude of ‘Hey, we're going to go out there and win.'"

As Post 77 is dispatching opponents with relative ease, Murphy is continuing to work with his team to get them to extend the victories past a streak and into the postseason.

"We pretty much have always started off strong," Murphy said. "I know one year we won our first 15 or 16 games and in another we won all of our games until the state tournament. More often than not, we start out with six, seven, eight, nine or 11 wins, and stuff like that. I don't know why, but it just seems like we get off to a fast start and then have trouble finishing."

Post 77 began its season with a resounding 14-0 victory over Peachtree City. Peachtree City Post 50 found its way on the scoreboard in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader but still came up short with Rockdale winning 7-3.

Sunday, Rockdale played host to Alpharetta in a doubleheader, coming away with a 5-0 win in the opener and a come-from-behind 13-8 victory in the nightcap.

Based in Rockdale, Post 77 draws from players throughout the metro Atlanta area, including Eastside High.

The Eagles helped put their spin on things Sunday as Jake Wright and Keith Buckhault make their first appearance with the team since returning from vacation Saturday.

Loew, who attends Southern Union State after graduating from Eastside in 2011, started Sunday's opener, shutting out Post 201 in five innings, allowing three hits. Logan Smith came in and pitched the last two innings in relief.

"Randy Loew pitched the first game and didn't get the run support that we did in the first games, but Randy pitched great for five innings," Post 77 coach Jack Murphy said. "He was really on board."

The win not only showed Murphy that he has a solid option out of the bullpen in Wright but also that his team is willing to fight for wins.

"When you get down 7-0 like that in a seven-inning ball game and end up winning 13-8 showed a lot of fortitude and a not-giving up attitude, we're-going-to-win-the-game attitude and we came back and won the game. Sometimes you don't know how the guys are going to fight back."