Though it lost its first two games of the season last week, the Fox Post 2 team in the American Legion Baseball League is expected to get the highest seed in the next week's state tournament
It took 20 games, but the Fox Post 2 team of the American Legion Baseball League finally put a notch in the loss column last week.
Stahl Post 30 was the squad that finally put a blemish on Post 2’s season that had been perfect up to that point, taking down the league’s top team, 4-0, July 19.
Manager Zach Carter’s team had gotten so close to regular season perfection that it took a loss in the final week of the season to knock off a 19-game winning streak.
Despite the loss, however, Post 2 is set to head into the Legion state tournament next week from Tuesday, July 27, to Sunday, Aug. 1, at Schutte Park as the favorites.
And believe it or not, Carter said he thinks the loss so late in the season might actually be a good thing for his team.
“I guess the positive is that they found out that they can be beaten,” he said. “If they don’t play 100% all of the time, they could be in trouble.”
Though the seeds for the tournament have yet to be set, it is likely Post 2 will earn the No. 1 slot as its 19 games over .500 is 10 games better than the next closest team, Post 30.
That means Carter’s team is coming into the playoffs with the proverbial bull’s-eye on its back, something the manager said his team is enjoying.
“I don’t think they have a problem with it,” he said. “They want to be the best team. They’re ready to take on the challenge. They want to be state champs. That’s what we planned from day one and we see it’s within reach.”
The strong point for Post 2 all year has been its talented and deep pitching staff, something Carter said he could see carrying the squad through the playoffs.
Because games are nine innings in the tournament as opposed to the seven played in the regular season, the manager said it’s that much more important to have a deep staff.
The more pitchers you have for those amount of innings is very important,” Carter said. “Because even if you get a hot pitcher that starts, after six or seven innings get ready, because he’s coming out.”
The double-elimination tournament will be held right in Post 2’s backyard this year at Schutte Park, but Carter said he doesn’t see too much of an advantage in that except for the reduction in travel time his players will have to endure.
The tournament site changes each year on a bidding process by the teams, and Roy Lamberton, the league’s state chair, said Schutte provides a great venue for this year’s playoffs.
“We like playing on a field where we’re playing all the games in one place,” Lamberton said. “And the lights help us hold night games, too, which is nice.”
The first round of the tournament kicks off with games at 8:30 a.m., noon, 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 27, at Schutte Park, Dover.
For updated schedules or more information, visit www.delegion.org/debaseball.
WHO Fox Post 2 (9-0, 20-2) vs. Sussex West Patriots Post 6 (4-5, 7-16)
WHEN Noon Saturday, July 24
WHERE Reed Field at Wesley College