Legion Baseball: Post 8 improving on ragged start to season

Jun. 07, 2013 @ 05:16 PM

Three games into the American Legion Baseball season, the new-look Davidson County team had the appearance of last season, dropping the trio of games. Since then, there has been vast improvement as the team currently sits at 6-6.
In those first three outings, Post 8 was not just losing — they were well off the pace. They dropped the opener to Randolph County 15-5, were defeated by Stanly County 8-1, and had Randolph blister them again by a 20-3 score. Not much went right for a club that had visions of better play by combining two previous Post teams into one. Just a night after the whipping from Randolph, the winds of momentum began to blow in their favor.
First came a 10-0 shutout over Eastern Randolph. Though it was followed up by a loss to Rowan County, the Warriors still played well, and notched a second win that next night over Mocksville. They went 6-3 over nine games, including a 12-2 redemption victory over Stanly County Wednesday evening.
“It took us a little while to see where to put everybody, plus the first three games we were missing kids due to other things,” said Post 8 head coach Dale Moser. “We are playing a lot better. I think we have a chance to be pretty good by the end of the year. We can play with anybody I think.”
The turnaround came from a variety of places. Hitting has been noticeably better in recent games according to Moser. East Davidson’s Braxton Shetley carried his hot bat from the high school season over to legion ball, as he currently has the second best average on the team. Ledford alum Matt Thorburn paces the team in RBIs, while former Panther teammate Austin Stilley is driving the ball to all fields from his No. 2 spot in the order. North Davidson’s Drew Beaver and Chase Mitchell are ripping the ball as well.
“The hitting has been a lot better,” Moser said. “We are starting to see the ball well. We scored 12 runs in our last game and have scored a lot of runs in other games.”
As more runs have been going up on the offensive side, the pitching has been keeping opposition off the board. Post 8 has established a solid four-man rotation with Matt Kaplan, Avery Bowles, Justin Freeman and Shetley. As a staff, Post 8 surrendered an average of 14.3 runs through those first three games. In the last nine, that number has reduced to 6.7.
“I think this team will make a run,” said Moser. “But like all legion teams, you can beat anybody or you can lose to anybody. I am just glad to see us improving.”

Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or kepley@tvilletimes.com.