Post 70 opens up regionals

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Post 70 19U baseball team arrived in Asheboro, North Carolina, on Tuesday for the 2017 Region Tournament.

The Trojans won their second straight state championship last month and are ready to make another run at World Series visit with a win at regionals.

“Every thing has looked really good during the last two practices,” said head coach Rush Hixon. “The guys are loose and practiced relaxed. They looked like they wanted to be there, which is a good sign.”

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Last season Post 70 won one game in this tournament, and this year’s team returns nearly half of last season’s players.

“I think they are extremely motivated,” Hixon said. “They know what it’s like and they know what to expect this year. There should be no shock when they get up here.”

Eight of the players returning to North Carolina have local ties. Reece Burbage and Hunter Jones represent Pike Liberal Arts, while Carson Tucker, Graham Wilkes, Bryson Gandy, Jabronski Williams, Hunter Reeves and Jackson Murphy represent Charles Henderson.

“They have looked great all summer,” Hixon said. “We have really leaned on them. All of those have contributed in big ways. We really look to those guys to give us quality at bats and innings on the mound. That is something you always want, to have a Troy based team. Troy is a baseball city, so having guys like that and having a feeder for your program is huge.”

Post 70’s success over the last two years has generated a lot of excitement for the program.

“I have had parents of younger players comment about how they want to join Post 70 when they are of age,” Hixon said. “That is really exciting for us. We are building this from the ground up. Coach (John) Rushing built this and we kind of picked it up and ran with it the last couple of years.”

Hixon is expecting a lot excitement come Wednesday afternoon when Post 70 takes on host Randolph County to kick off the tournament.

“It’s a great atmosphere,” Hixon said. “It’s one of the best parks in American Legion baseball. There is a lot of community support in Asheboro.”

The tournament will be held at a stadium that hosts a summer collegiate team and it features and artificial turf infield and a grass outfield.

“They usually draw really great crowds,” Hixon said. “We open play against the host team, Randolph County and that will absolutely bring a great crowd. The atmosphere should be great.”

First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and pitching will once again be the key.

“We are going to lean on our guys being able to throw strikes and compete,” Hixon said. “If we are good on the mound we have as good of a chance as anybody. Not to pressure on those guys because they have done it all year. This team has a good pitching staff.”