Troy hosts Summer Baseball Classic

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 3, 2005

Cot Wallace can't wait to see how Troy's Post 70 Team 1 American Legion baseball team fares in this weekend's Troy Summer Baseball Classic at Charles Henderson High School and Troy University.

"This is going to be tougher than last weekend's tournament," said Wallace, who coaches Team 1 with Danny Boutwell. "There aren't any weak teams in there. There are going to be some real good players here."

Post 70 Team 1 is 5-1 on the young season after going 3-1 in a tournament at Albany, Ga., last weekend.

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"We lost the opener 6-5 and the kids did a good job fighting back from there," Wallace said. "We beat the Americus travel team 7-4 and beat Albany's post team 8-2. Then on Sunday we hit the ball all day and won 15-8 over another Albany team. It seemed like each game we played the opponents got better."

Wallace likes the balance of this year's team.

"We're a better defensive team than any we've had," Wallace said. "I think in four games we had four errors. The big thing is we don't have any weak batters in the lineup. We're better as a team both hitting and defense. Our depth of pitching my show on us, but we've used a lot of guys so far."

In fact, pitching depth was a concern going into the season. Two quality starters, Chad Jordan and Jim Wallace, won't pitch at the start of the Legion campaign while they recover from a grueling high school season. So the coaches turned to pitchers Shane Lewis, Tanner Hensley, Chris Davis and Blake Sanders. Each has done well, but those four, until the injured return to the rotation, aren't enough.

"Four isn't enough when you're playing four games in three days like we're doing in these weekend tournaments," Wallace said. "We want guys to throw strikes and make the batters earn their way on."

He said the teams coming to Troy this weekend are capable of doing that.

"Panama City is loaded. They travel all over," he said. "Opelika is always tough, plus they draw from Lee-Scott and players in the surrounding area. Auburn has two teams coming. Skipperville is always good. So is Montgomery. The Albany team we played last week is coming. We beat them, but there were good."