Post 15 heats up at the right time

Published 4:31 pm Monday, June 24, 2024

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This time last week, the Junior American Legion team’s post-season prospects were not looking promising. The team was on a five-game losing streak and needed to reel off some victories to have a realistic chance to qualify for next month’s state tournament in Goldsboro,

Fast-forward to the present, where the local squad is bearing down on second place in the league after outscoring Wayne Co. and Dare Co. 50-2 in four consecutive victories to raise their record to 7-6 with two regular season games

“50 runs in four games is obviously really good, but I think our biggest improvement has been with our pitching,” coach Bobby Boyd said. “We were working on 17 scoreless innings before giving up a run in each game Saturday. Sam Mullis, who is an eighth grader, pitched all five innings in the first game (against Dare Co.) and Luke Mirabella (rising freshman) and Jayden Bass did well in the second one.”

Post 15 had lost their previous five games, then had a five-day break. The streak started with a 4-0 win against Wayne Co. on the artificial turf of Campbell University’s field.

“We came back recharged and refocused, and the guys had a lot of fun playing on a college field,” Boyd said. “It was a good experience for them to play on turf, with larger dugouts and in a bigger stadium. We played well defensively, and I think it gave us confidence.”

The team opened a stretch of five out of the final six games at home to close the season and battered the Dare Co. pitching staff for over 25 hits and took advantage of multiple walks, hit batters and errors to score 37 runs in eight steamy innings Saturday afternoon at Washington High School.

“We changed our batting order after the losing streak and I think we have guys in the correct spot now,” Boyd said. “I moved Holden Boykin to the leadoff spot, and he seems like he’s on base all the time with hits or walks.
Jackson Harding, Jacob Spivey and Ashton Willard are our 3-5 guys and they’ve had 13 hits in our last three games. Emerson Howell was hit by a pitch four times in the second game Saturday and he’s been on base a lot also. It took a while for us to gel as a team, but the potential that we knew we had at the beginning is finally starting to show. I feel good about our chances the rest of the way.“

Post 15 hosts Bear Grass Thursday and Hobgood Friday to end the regular season. The district tournament starts Sunday in Ahoskie with the top two teams advancing to the state tournament. Perquimans has wrapped up the regular season title and the top seed in the tournament.