Monday, 30 March 2020 20:35

American Legion Post 49 summer ball 'still on'

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Memorial Park in Hamlet has undergone renovations and will be the home of the American Legion Post 49 baseball team. Memorial Park in Hamlet has undergone renovations and will be the home of the American Legion Post 49 baseball team.

HAMLET — American Legion baseball is still expected to return to Richmond County this summer after a 13-year absence.

Looking to hold its first season since 2007, the Hamlet Post 49 baseball team is waiting out the current coronavirus outbreak. But manager Chip Gordon said everything is expected to go as planned beginning June 1.

“The season is still on as of now,” Gordon explained. “We can’t have any tryouts, organized practices or player meetings until May 15, or for however long school is out. But nothing has been cancelled or postponed.”

High school sports across the state were indefinitely suspended by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association on March 12. American Legion baseball and its recruiting have also been impacted by the hiatus, not allowing teams to conduct any sort of official business.

Geared toward players who recently graduated high school or who are preparing for their sophomore year of college, Gordon said the Post 49 team already has 13 players on its roster. 

Two of those players, Tyler Bass and Cameron Carraway, graduated from Richmond in 2019 and were playing ball at Brunswick Community College and Wingate University, respectively. 

Current Raider seniors Will Chappell and Dallas Cowick, who are seeing their final high school season interrupted, are also expected to play for Post 49. 

Gordon said the other players are represented by Anson, Marlboro, Moore and Scotland counties. There are still a couple of spots still available for interested players.

Barring no changes to the schedule are made due to COVID-19, Post 49 will play 15 games this summer. The team will play its eight home games at Memorial Park in Hamlet, which has undergone a $10K facelift since last August.

The outfield fence was recently put up along with a screen, and Gordon added that the new backstop netting will also be installed soon.

“The field renovations have been going pretty good,” Gordon explained. “There’s still a little bit of work to do, mainly getting some dirt on the infield. But it’s in playing shape.

“A 15-game season is a great length, especially when you play every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a month.”

The schedule for the upcoming season is as follows, with all games starting at 7 p.m.

June 1: at Whiteville Post 137 (Whiteville High School)

June 3: vs. Hope Mills Post 32 (Memorial Park)

June 5: vs. New Hanover Post 10 (Memorial Park)

June 8: vs. Ashley Post 129 (Memorial Park)

June 10: at Wilmington Post 10 (Legion Stadium)

June 12: vs. Whiteville Post 137 (Memorial Park)

June 15: at Hope Mills Post 32 (Hope Mills High School)

June 17: at New Hanover Post 10 (TBD)

June 19: at Ashley Post 129 (Ashley High School)

June 22: vs. Wilmington Post 10 (Memorial Park)

June 24: at Whiteville Post 137 (Whiteville High School)

June 26: vs. Hope Mills Post 32 (Memorial Park)

June 29: vs. New Hanover Post 10 (Memorial Park)

July 1: vs. Ashley Post 129 (Memorial Park)

July 3: at Wilmington Post 10 (Legion Stadium)

The playoffs will begin July 8 and the first two rounds will feature a best-of-five game series. The championship game will be held on July 21, and both teams will play in the state tournament.

“I want to say thank you to all the sponsors who have donated to help us out for the season,” Gordon closed. “They will be getting their tickets, hats and shirts in the near future.

“We’re ready for the season to get here and play some ball."

Sponsoring the Hamlet American Legion Post 49 team are: Tri City, Inc., Ferrel Gas Company, SIA Group, Griffin Nissan, Convenience Corner, Law Offices of Brent Garner, Queen Oz CPA, Carla’s Country Day Care, Leroy Suggs Fishing, Graves Body Shop, Fred’s Barber Shop, Mabry’s Drug Store, Modern Woodmen, American Legion Post 49, Bobby’s Furniture, Allstate Insurance, Dillon Tractor, TRG Sign Company, Grant’s Express Tire & Auto, Dr. William Cleveland, DDS, Hodges Lawn & Landscape, Inc., Page Plantation Shutter, Watson-King Funeral Home and Enviva Biomass.

Last modified on Monday, 30 March 2020 20:38

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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