Post 11 gets started at states
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 5, 2008 1:43 PM
Wayne County Post 11 must hit to win.
That's a fact head coach Brad Reaves knows better than anyone else.
Less than a week after defeating Clayton for the Area I championship, Post 11 must refocus its attention as the N.C. American Legion State tournament begins today in Gastonia.
Wayne County (24-6 overall) squared off against Area III runner-up Rowan County at 12:30 p.m..
"The best offense is going to win this thing," said Reaves. "Usually when you get to this level you think about pitching, but I honestly don't think there are many shut-down arms this year."
Both teams' recent history tends to validate Reaves' assumptions.
Wayne County posted 18 runs in the three games against Clayton and has compiled 259 runs during the season. Equally hot offensively, Rowan County put up 37 runs in its best-of-five area final. That includes a 15-run outburst in a game four loss to Randolph.
Right-hander Michael Douglas is charged with the task of shutting down the Rowan County sluggers. The Southern Wayne standout is 6-2 on the mound with a 3.30 earned run average.
"We are going to go with Michael in game one. He has started each series and we aren't about to change things up now," said Reaves. "He has been tough so far in the playoffs, and we hope that continues."
Rowan County will be looking to piece together a pitching performance due to injuries to multiple starters.
One statistic that jumps off the sheet is the discrepancy in the amount of games each team has played. Rowan County has played 46 games compared to 30 for Wayne County.
"The teams in the western half of the state always play a lot more games, so I don't think it's a big deal," said Reaves. "With the weather, and the way the scheduling works out around here, it's hard for us to get that many games in."
Reaves also hopes his team is ready to play under the hot midday sun.
"I don't think playing at 12:30 will bother us much, but we definitely want to win the first game," said Reaves. "If we win, we get to play night games the rest of the way. If we lose we have to come right back at 12:30 on Wednesday.
"Our guys had enough of that last season."
Post 11 is making its second consecutive trip to the state tournament.
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