The Fox Post No. 2 squad of the American Legion Baseball league has its eye on the No. 1 overall seed in the state tournament, being played this weekend in Dover. With a well-rounded team on both sides of the ball, Manager Zach Carter thinks he may have the squad that can win it all this season.
As the American Legion Baseball season wraps up this week, the local team, Fox Post No. 2, is feeling pretty good about the state tournament that starts this weekend.
The squad, made up of students from Caesar Rodney High School, Dover High School, Lake Forest High School, Polytech and Saint Thomas More Preparatory, is sitting in first place and poised to grab the No. 1 seed.
The team was 19-6-1 with 60 league points accumulated Tuesday, with one game left to play on the season.
Manager Zach Carter said that while he’s pleased with the position the team is in as the regular season ends, he thinks the best they have to offer is still ahead.
“I don’t think we’ve played our best baseball yet,” Carter said. “We’ve gone through streaks where some guys are hot and some aren’t. I think we still have room for improvement.”
The skipper of Fox Post No. 2 said the reason he sees the team getting better as they hit the tournament lies in an element that can’t be taught in practice or learned.
“This is an experienced and very relaxed team,” Carter said. “There’re a lot of people back from last year when we went to the championship round. They’re used to winning and they know what it takes to win.”
The ALB has had a good season up to this point in terms of competitiveness in the league and parity in the standings.
The top eight teams in the league make the state tournament, and after Fox Post’s top spot with 60 points, the next four teams have between 54 and 57 points.
Roy Lamberton, state chairman of the ALB, said from the standpoint of popularizing the league, the parity only helps and has kids wanting to see if they could be difference makers in the league.
“A kid sitting in high school that plays can look at the score of a game and say, ‘if I had been playing in that league, in that game, could I have made a difference?’” Lamberton said. “Like a pitcher that sees that another pitcher gave up a game deciding run in the late innings will say to himself, ‘if I was in I wouldn’t have let that run up.’
“The kids challenge themselves and want to come and make their mark on the league.”
With the closeness in standings and high competitiveness of the league, Carter’s team has its work cut out for them.
Still, he thinks his squad, if they play good ball and get the right bounces, should fare well this weekend.
“I think we should give it a good run,” Carter said. “That said, you never know how the ball is going to bounce.”
He credits the well-rounded ability of his squad for putting them in the spot they are in entering the playoffs and does not see a weak spot when everyone is on their game.
“Offensively, we’ve got power and we’ve got team speed. Jimmy Brittingham, Greg McKee and Will Ross are all hitting over .400,” Carter said. “Defensively we don’t make many mistakes, and pitching-wise our pitchers throw strikes and put the ball in play. That’s what we ask them to do, let the team help you.”
The Fox Post No. 2 team will open the American Legion Baseball state tournament this weekend. If they clinch the top seed, they will play at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at Wesley College.
Email Brian Citino at email@example.com