Post 15 routs Cary, picks up steam

Published 3:55 pm Monday, July 4, 2016

There was no way that Beaufort County Post 15 could coast into the playoffs. The Pirates have been playing with a bull’s-eye on their backs after winning the Area 1 regular season championship last year. Their fortunes didn’t translate to the tournament as they ran into a hot Dare County team.

That’s why this past weekend’s meeting with Cary Post 67 was integral. The Pirates had been skidding recently, losing a few close games. Coach Glenn Marsh knew it was important to get back on track because the postseason was right around the corner.

That’s exactly what they did. Post 15 soared past Cary, 12-2. The Pirates used a pair of six-run innings to top the Colts — an opponent that was tied for first in the conference. Brock Marsh was 1-2 at the plate with three RBI. Hunter Sparks, Parker Boyd and Matthew Marslender all had hits. Austin Roscoe and Logan Everette each pitched two innings with Everette conceding the two runs.

“It was probably our most complete game of the season,” Marsh said. “The boys were extremely focused. You could tell when we got to the ballpark. We had a tough week, losing a couple of games by one run each time.

“We were on just a little bit of a losing streak. We talked about bouncing back and getting off to a good start. We certainly did, scoring six runs in the second and six in the third. They kind of looked like their old selves. I’m proud of their effort and it’s a good springboard going into the tournament.”

In the end, it came down to having fun. The fun, relaxed mentality is something that Marsh and the coaching staff has been stressing since the start of the season. Not having that approach to the game was something that played a part in Post 15’s quick exit from the tournament last year.

“We went in as the No. 1 seed and I think we put a little bit of extra pressure on ourselves,” Marsh said. “We faced a very hot team to start with in Dare County, which went on to win the tournament … They gave it their all, but we had a tough day.

“This year, we know what to expect. I don’t know if the kids feel like the same pressure is on. We go into there as a No. 3 seed. Hopefully they’ll be a little more relaxed.”

Matt Black rounds third base in a game earlier in the summer. According to coach Glenn Marsh, he and the Pirates played their most complete game of the summer on Saturday against Cary.

The tournament itself is a cool experience. There’s a lot of parity in the conference, so there really isn’t an overwhelming favorite going into it. Marsh hopes the Pirates can enjoy getting out there and the competition they will face.

“It’s just about being relaxed, having fun and enjoying the tournament,” he said. “Enjoy the atmosphere around it. Every team there is good. All eight teams can beat anybody else there. That’s been proven throughout the entire season this year. I think whatever team gets hot, hopefully it’s us, can make a run and win it.”

Most of the Pirates have been playing baseball since high school practice began in the winter. They’re coming up on what is, for many of them, the end of most of their baseball until the preseason. The key to counteracting any burnout is that aforementioned loose, fun mentality.

“You’ve got to be relaxed at the plate and in the field,” Marsh said. “Playing the game in the middle of July after practicing with your high school since last winter — a lot of them have been playing for seven or eight months in a row. I want them to enjoy it. I want them to enjoy these last few weeks. I think they’ll perform much better being totally relaxed.”

Post 15 begins its foray into the postseason Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Manteo. The Pirates will play the Cary Bulls. The final call for starting pitcher is still up in the air. However, the Pirates saved arms this weekend, giving them plenty of options.