POWHATAN -- Carter Mitchell and Max Altieri both smashed RBI doubles past Post 39 to help their American Legion Post 201 Juniors team, the Braves, win Wednesday's season-opening defensive duel 2-1.
For Post 201, Zach Smith held Post 39 to 1 run and struck out six batters in the first four innings pitched. Johnny Evans pitched two scoreless innings in relief, striking out the side in the sixth inning. His defense delivered a double play in the fifth when a lineout led to the Braves putting out the runner trying to tag back up at third base.
Mitchell, the closing pitcher for Post 201, ensured the win in the seventh. He struck out one, and his defense behind him secured the win on yet another double-play. Will Karanian fielded a hard-hit groundball for the unassisted out at first base; the Post 39 runner who was previously there had taken off for second on the groundout, but Karanian rifled the ball to Hartley Rahman, who tagged out the runner in time.
While the Braves only had five runners reach base, they pushed two across at timely points in the game. They grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Mitchell hammered a double all the way to the left-field fence to bring home Rahman.
In the sixth inning, with the game tied at 1-1 after Post 39 had hit a 2-out RBI single in the fourth, Will Tuttle drove a groundball up the middle for a single, then scored off of a 1-out, 2-strike pitch that Altieri slammed to the left-center fence for a double of his own.