Alabama team rallies a third time to win American Legion World Series in Shelby

·2 min read

SHELBY -- Brooks Bryan knew Troy, Ala., Post 70 had a winning tradition when he joined their program this season.

What he didn't understand was just how star-crossed the team had been in national competition until he and his 2022 teammates took matters into their own hands and changed it.

That's why there was such joy and celebration after Tuesday's American Legion World Series title following Troy's 6-5 come-from-behind win over Idaho Falls, Idaho, at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium. It was Alabama's first ALWS championship since Tuscaloosa's title in 1967.

"I really didn't know much Alabama had struggled until we started looking it up after we won the regional," said Bryan, whose team was making its first ALWS appearance and Alabama's fifth overall. "We were like, 'We haven't won it awhile so let's do it.'"

Post 70 did so in historic, nailbiting fashion. Not only did Troy win three straight "must win" games after trailing, Post 70's victory after trailing 5-0 in Tuesday's final is the largest deficit overcome in an ALWS championship game.

"If you ask these guys years from now what's the best thing they've done, I bet they'll say, winning this and being in this environment," Troy coach Russ Hixon said.

Bryan was named 2022 George W. Rulon American Legion Player of the Year and to the all-tournament team. A December 2021 signee with Troy University out of Opelika High School, Bryan hit .500 in national Legion tournament competition with one home run and 11 RBI.

He also helped Troy win its sixth straight Alabama state title and first regional. Post 70 had won at least one regional game in each of its previous appearances.

In Shelby, Troy lost its second game in pool play to Camden, S.C., setting up win-or-go-home games the rest of the way.

It erased a three-run deficit vs. League City, Texas, to advance to the semifinals, then did the same against perennial power Midland, Mich., to make the championship. There, Post 70 fell behind by five runs after two innings, then scored three in the third and three in the seventh against Idaho, which was aiming for the first three-peat in tournament history.

"We don't ever give up no matter what," Bryan said. "We played hard to the very end in every game. And we came back to win in the last three games."

Dan Spears is the sports editor for the Wilmington StarNews, and Southeast Regional sports editor for the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at Dan.Spears@StarNewsOnline.com or on Twitter @DanSpears.

This article originally appeared on The Shelby Star: Troy, Alabama, rallies to win first American Legion World Series title