Troy Post 70 gets set for summer baseball action

Published 1:00 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

The Troy Post 70 Summer Baseball program is gearing up for the start of the 2022 Summer schedule with practices beginning this weekend.

The Post 70 program provides an opportunity for area high school baseball players to play against some of the top players in the Southeast, be seen by college coaches from all over the country and get elite coaching from area coaches. Pike Liberal Arts assistant coach Ross Hixon – who played college baseball at Southern Union – has been with Post 70 since the beginning and has coached the 15U, 17U and 19U programs but this season will be his first leading the entire program as Pike head coach Rush Hixon takes on a more part-time role with the program as he handles his additional responsibilities at Pike.

“I love summer ball,” Ross Hixon said. “I’ve always loved it because it’s a more laid back atmosphere compared to high school and you get a bunch of guys (from different schools) together with talent that are all friends and this is the only time they get a chance to play together. Some of them compete against each other and now they get to compete together.”

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Ross Hixon said that that Post 70 has gone from a program that struggled to get players to join to being a top destination for Wiregrass baseball players.

“It was a struggle to find players (at the start) and now it’s grown to where we have to turn down some good players, just because you run out of room on your roster,” he said. “The whole goal when we started this thing back up was to get something of good quality for the players in the area and be as economical as you could do it for the families and players.

“The ultimate goal is for the (players) to get looks from colleges. The last 4-5 years probably 85-90 percent of our guys have gone on to at least play at the JUCO level. It’s gone from a place where we didn’t know where we were going with this and now it’s a pretty established program that college coaches seek out.”

Helping the Hixon brothers out on the coaching staff is a number of area assistant and head coaches like Pike Lib assistant Hunter Mann, Abbeville-Christian head coach CJ Upshaw, Pike Road head coach Allen Ponder and Carroll head coach Brett Birdsong. Additionally, Post 70 alumni DJ Law – who plays at South Alabama – will be coaching this summer.

The 15U team features Pike infielder Kade Brookins, infielder Dawson Bradford and catcher Jack Baggett along with Headland’s Evan Taylor, Waylon McGriff and Bryce Grover. Andalusia’s Mason Meek, Opp player Nolan Brown, Goshen’s Tyler McLendon, Ariton’s Dalton Murphy, Greenville’s Ausitn Beck, Eufaula utility player Taylor Morrow, LAMP catcher Andrew Lutz and Cottonwood pitcher Braylon Morris and outfielder Klete Meadows. Enterprise is represented by Remington Kennedy, Reid Burns and Seth Graham.

The 17U squad boasts a pair of Pike players in pitcher Will Rice and KC Bradford along with Ariton’s Landon Tyler and Phenix Griffin. Dothan’s trio of Blake Wynn, Brody Lindsey and Carter Davis are also featured on the team along with Opp’s Cody Walsh and Terry Davis, Enterprise’s Brady Richardson and Pitman Hall, Greenville’s Christian Hall, Headland’s Mason Steele and Jake Johnson, Macon East’s Gunner Justice and Matthew Kitchens, Providence Christian’s Harrison Mims, Abbeville Christian’s Justin Murphy and Kinston’s Owen Patterson.

The 15U and 17U squads will begin play at an exhibition event from Next Level Baseball on May 28. From June 3-5, the team will hold the Post 70 Summer Classic in Troy before heading to Albertville for the PBR Alabama Open from June 10-12.

Post 70 will travel to Panama City, Fla., for the Showcase Series at Gulf Coast Community College June 17 through June 19. June 24-26, Troy University will host its own Showcase Series at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy.

Post 70 will compete in another Showcase Series at Northwest Florida State Community College in Niceville, Fla. from July 8-10 and then finish off the season at the American Legion State Tournament in Madison from June 15-17.

The 19U squad is chock full of players that have already signed with a colleges or are already playing in college. In fact, only four 19U players are undecided on their college choice.

Former Pike star Walker Stallworth and Enterprise pitcher Trey Cavanaugh are currently playing at Southern Union, while Pike seniors Darryl Lee (Coastal Alabama-South) and Press Jefcoat (Pensacola State) will also be playing for the 19U team. Enterprise outfielder Drew Shiver (Troy), first baseman Will Powell (ESCC) and Noah Loy (Coastal Alabama-South) are also a part of the 19U squad. Additionally, Rehobeth pitcher Lane Cook (undecided), catcher Shelton Arroyo (LBW) and power hitter Zach Chandler (undecided) are also on the team along with Opp catcher Ethan Cox (CVCC), pitcher Tanner Burlinson (undecided) and infielder Jackson Pierce (undecided). Headland pitchers Tanner Taylor (Southern Union) and Reigh Jordan (San Jacinto) will join Houston Academy outfielder Tucker Jackson (Pensacola Junior College), Wetumpka pitcher Douglas Johnson (Southern Union), New Brockton pitcher Drew Cashin (ESCC), Opelika catcher Brooks Bryan (Troy) and Auburn High infielder Todd Clay (Pensacola State).

The 19U team will play an exhibition on May 28 before heading out for a 4-game series in Ozark June 4-5. They’ll also play in the Alabama State Games June 10-12 and the Father’s Day Classic in Troy June 17-19. The 19U squad travels to Marianna, Fla. for the Chipola Tournament June 24-26 and heads to Tupelo, MS for the King City Classic July 8-10. Post 70 will host a showcase in Troy on July 16 and then head out for a state tournament in July 22.