Post 28 Gaining Steam
The local American Legion baseball team is starting to peak at the right time. Although they have only won five games as of this writing, four of them have come in the last two weekend tournaments. During the July 6-8, Scout Showcase tournament, held in Bridgeport, W.Va., the local boys had some big moments.
“We are coming around and getting it together; like I said before the league began play, we would have to get used to each other and that included the players and coaches. It was tough finding out who could do what and play where, but we’ve figured most of it out. We play against some of the best players in W.Va., and even some good college players. I am excited at how we are now playing, and I think if we had a full team all the time, we would have won some more games,” said Coach Eric McKeever.
Paden City’s pitcher/first baseman Trey Slider had a good showcase tournament. He picked up two wins and had a save. He also swung the bat well. The Wildcats’ Matt Saxon, who handles short stop, plays a steady game and has a strong arm. Tyler West from Tyler Consolidated handles the third base shot spot and does a nice job. In the recent tournament, he went 5-5 in one stretch and 4-6 in another. Ryan Cross also had a hot bat as he went 5-5 at one point.
“He is one of our catchers but has mostly been a DH; Donnie Quinif is our regular catcher and is a good hitter with a strong arm. I want to say Valley’s Ethan Greathouse is a really good ball player. He does a good job pitching and can get the wood on the ball. Jake Gamble did a nice job getting a save in the last inning of a game and had some scouts asking about him.”
The Post has been at somewhat of a disadvantage because they have only been having 10-12 players showing up, with several kids on vacation and playing other sports. Coach McKeever was hoping for about 16 to be able to move some kids around and get them back to where they are comfortable playing. He was also happy that Jason Beisel decided to play. ” He has been a nice addition to our outfield and playing center field.”
July’s 13-15 weekend Mid-Atlantic tournament, held in Bridgeport, showcased some great competition and Post #28 wasn’t able to come out of it with a win, but they still played competitive and gave the top team a great game losing 6-2, in pool play. The team hit the ball well but struggled in the field and gave up too many unearned runs. “The experience of playing these teams who have college players and top-notch high school stars from larger areas can’t go unnoticed. We improve every time we play them,” said Coach McKeever. “I know if we could get everyone back together, and we will, things will turn around for us. We’ve had a lot of kids on vacation at the same time, and that always hurts when you have to move players around.”
The New Martinsville team picked up a nice win on Wednesday, July 18, with a 7-6 victory over Post #3 of Moundsville, in nine innings. Post #28 had a few pitchers struggle early on but got out of a jam when Slider came on in relief. Paden City’s Ethan Cross closed out for them.
The game was a dandy with each team keeping it close. Slider went 3-3 from the plate to lead the home team. McKeever got a hit and a steal, and Slider’s bunt moved McKeever to third with Slider on first. Slider stole second and two pitches later, Pat Mirandy knocked in the winning run. Mirandy and Slider both threw well for the Post.
Post #28 took to the home field again on Thursday, versus Post #15 from Parkersburg.
Trey Slider took the mound for the New Martinsville-based squad and worked two scoreless innings before the visitors grabbed the lead on an unearned run to take a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third. The top of the fourth turned out to be a tough one for the home team as Post #15 scored three (two on an error), and it was 4-0 going into the bottom half. Post #28 got a run when Slider knocked in a run with one out. However with two runners in scoring position, Post #15 made a nice grab to turn two and end the inning.
Slider held the visitors scoreless in the fifth but couldn’t get anything in their half either. Ethan Greathouse came on in relief in the sixth and gave up one run on a solo homer from Post #15’s Jacob Hoyt for a 5-1 lead that would end up the final score. Slider took the win but pitched well – giving up only two earned runs over five innings. New Martinsville has five wins on the season but have been playing some close ones that could have gone either way.
“It’s tough when you play a team like Parkersburg and you hang tough, but their experience and top players from Parkersburg, South, Ripley, Ravenswood, Marietta, Williamstown and St. Marys are making us better. You have to remember New Martinsville has not fielded a team in maybe 20 years, so it’s something new and we hope to build on it. We still have a lot of ball to play, and we’re looking forward to better things,” Coach McKeever.
“Also our crowds at the games are picking up and the community it starting to get behind the local team.”