Post 70 takes run at state

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

The American Legion Post 70 baseball team begins play in the state tournament this afternoon in Huntsville.

Post 70 will open up pool play at 1 p.m. against Cullman Post 4.

“They are excited to finally be playing again,” said head coach Rush Hixon. “It’s time to play for something that matters now.”

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Post 70 enters the tournament with 20-6 record. “I think it has been a really successful summer,” Hixon said. “We played good ball this summer and won a lot of games. We are pretty confident that we have a good chance to be successful up here.”

Post 70 won the Father’s Day Classic, beating the defending World Series Champions, and are defending state champions going into this tournament.

“I think there is a lot of confidence,” Hixon said. “They are used to winning. We return a lot of guys from last year’s championship team that are used to winning and being in big games.”

Post 70 has seen most of the teams in the tournament, including Cullman, who they beat 11-1 on July 8. “Some people have different scouting reports for different teams,” Hixon said. “They have seen us and some of our pitchers, but ultimately if we do what we do and stick to our game plan we won’t have to worry about any of that.”

Although it’s not yet official, Post 70 could start former Charles Henderson Trojan Graham Wilkes today. Graham is part of a deep pitching rotation for Post 70.

“I absolutely think pitching should be a strength,” Hixon said. “We have had guys go out there and compete all summer. We struggled pitching in the zone a little bit. If we can stay in the zone and throw competitive strikes than our pitching staff is absolutely our strength.”

At the plate, Post 70 has also had a deep lineup.

“It’s also a big strength of ours,” Hixon said. “We feel like we haven’t all been hot at the same time. We feel like if we do all get hot at the same time we are going to be very hard to beat.”

Hixon believes his team will have a target on their backs.

“We will have a target on our back after winning last year,” Hixon said. “Everybody is going to want to knock us off. We are going to have to play with some extra fire in this tournament.”

Post 70 will begin pool play on Thursday that consists of two games. After the two games the team’s will be seeded and place in a single-elimination bracket which begins on Saturday.

“You can’t have a slip up in bracket play or your season will end just like that,” Hixon said. “If you have one game your summer is gone. I think it puts more emphasis on every pitch being important and every inning be important.”