The American Legion Baseball season is a short one, lasting a little over a month teams fly through their schedules quickly.
On Friday, Delaware American Legion Baseball crowned a new state champion, Delaware Post 1, who dethrones last year’s state champion, Canal Post 25.
Delaware Post 1 defeated the Post 10 Generals in a high-scoring state championship game, 10-9.
While a new champion now sits atop the league, Dover’s Fox Post 2 had another successful season on the diamond, though they came up short of their ultimate goal.
For the second straight season, Fox Post 2 made a deep run in the Delaware State Tournament, advancing to the semifinals before they were eliminated by the Post 10 Generals, losing 9-6 to the eventual state runner-up.
“Yes, I’d say the season a success - we had a lot of nice surprises as far as players goes,” said Manager Paul Quirk. “We had some kids that I didn’t really know that much about, it was exciting to find out they could really play.”
Throughout the season, Fox Post 2’s lineup and pitching rotation did the job behind a deep group of talented players, backed up praise from Manager Paul Quirk.
“Kyle Comegys, I don’t think I had ever really seen him play before this year, but he played really well defensively for us and with the bat - Brent Buckson from Polytech, I knew he was a very good having seen him as a younger player, but he really held his own and had a nice homer in the tournament game the other day,” Quirk said. “Tommy Pomatto, pitching and shortstop, he was great - Trey Howard, I had him on some little league teams and he played on the same travel ball team as my son, he really shined. Joey Wunsch did a great job behind the plate, he really stepped up and played great for us too.”
“Garrett Lawson, I knew what I had in him and I don’t think he gave up a run all year, batted .452, had 16 RBI - Miguel Rivera, we batted him lead-off and he’d be a three hitter for almost any other team he played on.”
Post 2 opened the postseason with a come from behind victory Saturday over last year’s champion, Canal Post 25 from Middletown. Fox Post trailed the Firehawks 7-2 through six innings, but scored seven runs combined over the seventh and eighth innings to earn a 9-7 victory.
On Tuesday, Fox Post continued their winning ways in the state tournament with some more late game heroics. This time, Fox Post handed the Post 6 Patriots their first loss of the tournament, walking-off with a 3-2 win after breaking a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Fox Post suffered their first defeat in the double-elimination state tournament on Wednesday, falling 10-4 to eventual state champion Delaware Post 1, before being eliminated Thursday in the semifinals by Post 10.
Fox Post 2’s tournament run may have never happened, as Quirk feared a week before the season wouldn’t be able to field enough players to play the revised tournament schedule due to work or school obligations.
“I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to play in the tournament, but our kids were able to work their schedules around,” Quirk said. “They really got at each other to get things worked out and I was very glad to see that from the guys.”
With that kind of team spirit, Quirk is excited for next season, when all but two players from this year’s team will be eligible to return.
“Aside from Garrett (Lawson) and Cam (Turner), as far as I know, everyone is eligible to come back,” Quirk said. “Everyone else can come back to play if they choose.”
Overall, Fox Post won the Delaware Southern Division, finishing with a 14-9 record which was good enough for 39 total points. Post 2 finished ahead of Smyrna Post 14 (13-8), Post 6 Patriots (12-10), Canal Post 25 (12-12) and Post 3 Milford (5-16).