Post 70 falls in regional tournament

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The American Legion Post 70 baseball team had their summer come to a close on Sunday with a 4-2 loss to Tupelo in the American Legion Regional Tournament in Tampa, Florida.

After winning three games in a row to keep their tournament hopes alive, the loss for Post 70 on Sunday knocked them out of their tournament and ending their hopes of advancing to their first-ever world series.

“I can’t say enough about the group of 14 guys that we had go down to Florida,” said head coach Rush Hixon. “Can’t say enough about how they competed. We had multiple comments about how they handled themselves on and off the field. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

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Post 70 has had their summer come to close in the regional tournament in four consecutive seasons. Despite not making it to the next level, Hixon believes there is a lot of momentum brewing for the Post 70 baseball team.

“They guys get there and get a taste of what a regional tournament is like,” Hixon said. “When you get so close to something it kind of sits on you differently. A lot of guys that are coming back next year our already making comments about how they can’t wait to come back and compete for another regional championship.”

Post 70 lost their opening round game to Pedal Valve in walk-off fashion last Wednesday. They then rattled off three wins in a row to stay alive until the semifinals.

“It was really impressive,” Hixon said. “We were undermanned, down to 14 guys. The ones there stepped up and thought we should have won game one. After we lost that those guys stepped up and took lead. In those games there were a lot of good things. It’s just a credit to the guys and leadership of the older guys.”

Tampa was a new location for this tournament. The event was held at the University of Tampa and it offered an exciting atmosphere for American Legion baseball.

“Tampa is an incredible place,” Hixon said. “The University of Tampa has an incredible venue and really nice facilities. The on-field atmosphere was electric because we were fighting for a championship on every pitch. Awesome place, awesome venue and hopefully we can get back next year.”

Hixon, along with his assistant coaches Ross Hixon, Bradley Beal and John Michael Stephens will cherish the relationships built with the players of the team.

“The relationships I have built with the guys is always something I cherish every summer,” Hixon said. “It’s never easy ending the summer and parting ways with the guys. I want to thank my coaching staff. They were with us all summer and sacrificed a lot of their time. Ultimately all they gained was experience and a chance to coach baseball. I was happy with those guys and appreciative of all they did. As well as the 14 guys that were with us all summer. It means a lot. The wins and losses are cool but when you look back on it the time shared together meant more.”