With a wealth of talent returning from last year’s state tournament team, the future looks promising for the American Legion Fort Mill Post 43 baseball team this summer.
This year’s squad has four returning college players and 10 players with commitments to college who will represent Fort Mill, Nation Ford and Indian Land high schools. Head coach Tom Skula said he is expecting a lot out of the team this season.
“Last year was an incredible run,” Skula said.
“Having not been to the state tournament in 16 years was an accomplishment in itself to just get there. As a program, we want to get back there and be the first Fort Mill American Legion team to win a game at the state tournament. We have six players back from that state tournament team that knows what it takes to grind through the summer and be successful. What makes me feel really excited about this team besides the talent is the team chemistry and leadership we have moving into the season.”
Those six players back from last year include four college players in Joey Tepper, Noah Griffin, Alex Stennett and Greg Izzo. Fort Mill seniors Justin Kerosetz and Bartow Keller are also back from last year’s state tournament team.
This year’s squad should have solid hitting and will have three key arms on the mound in Griffin, Logan Stone and Derek Sivec pitching for Post 43. With three games a week, starting next week and games shortened from nine to seven innings, it should help those players get plenty of work off the mound.
Post 43 is scheduled to open the season June 4 against Union, which was added to League V this year, taking the place of Chester. In the second week of the season, Post 43 will have an important three-game series against state runner-up Rock Hill Post 34, which also is loaded with talent again this year.
Week three of the season sees Fort Mill take on Lancaster in a three-game series, followed by another three-game series against York the week afterward. Fort Mill is also play two non-league games this year against Pineville.
The top two teams in League V are guaranteed to make the playoffs, which start July 9 with the best three-of-five series. This year’s double elimination state tournament is being held in Columbia July 24-27.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM