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Newton presences helps Post 77
Loftin, Buckhault, Loew, Wright play big part in unbeaten start
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Tripp Loftin joined Rockdale Post 77 for a simple reason - just to get in some work.

Loftin, who pitched for the Newton Rams during the 2012 season, took the mound as Post 77's starter in Saturday's American Legion matchup against Alpharetta, and he didn't disappoint.

The left-hander pitched five shutout innings as Post 77 came away with a 5-0 win.

"He looked pretty good," Post 77 coach Jack Murphy said. "He walked a few; overall his control was good having not pitched in a long time. He made some real improvement since the first start he had."

Due to enrollment restrictions placed on American Legion teams, Loftin isn't a full-time player for Rockdale but is still eligible to pitch in non-area games and tournaments such as the upcoming POW/MIA Tournament at Hunter Park this weekend.

However, Murphy still uses Loftin to supplement his pitching staff and get work in prior to heading off to Savannah State.
"In non-area games that don't count in the standings for legion we let him pitch a little bit to get him some work," Murphy said.

After his five innings Loftin handed the ball off to Cole Hamilton and then closer Cody Wofford. Wofford, who nine pitches for six strikeouts in Rockdale's victory over Douglasville Thursday has been given the closing duties by Murphy.

Wofford and Loftin are just two of the pitchers who have helped Rockdale to its early success, winning eight straight victories.

Daniel Jackson pitched well in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, also going five innings.

Rockdale won that game 9-0 with everyone getting a chance to pick up the bat.

"We got to play everybody, and everyone got some innings under their belt," Murphy said. "Any time you can do that and get the win, it's good."

Post 77 got two more shutouts, but also had a strong weekend on offense. A big factor in the 14 runs over two games was Eastside High.

Former Eastside players Jake Wright, Keith Buckhault and Randy Loew all had multiple hits. Buckhault had three hits, and Wright added two more, along with some nice defensive plays at first base.

"Keith is hitting the ball real well for us," Murphy said. "Randy Loew had about eight or nine assists at third base, it feels like they hit the ball all day Saturday to him."

Loew also would have pitched in one of Rockdale's two games against Cumming on Sunday but it was canceled due to rain.

Rockdale also had its Tuesday game postponed due to Buford's field not being available. After playing in the POW/MIA Tournament this weekend, Rockdale will travel to Douglasville, Dawsonville, Canton and Albany.

Post 77's next home game will be against Cumming on July 8.