Red Bay Legion Post 120's Colton Gilliland throws a pitch against Phil Campbell during last Monday's game. Photo by Keith Ledbetter.
Red Bay Legion Post 120's Colton Gilliland throws a pitch against Phil Campbell during last Monday's game. Photo by Keith Ledbetter.

Archived Story

RB hosts American Legion baseball team

Published 2:58pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014

By Keith Ledbetter

For the FCT

RED BAY – Members of the Red Bay varsity and junior high baseball teams have stepped up their summer games after fielding an American Legion team for the first time in several years.

The American Legion Post 120 league varsity team is made up of Red Bay players, two from Vina High School, and one from Tremont.

The team is expected to play 35 games in the month of June.

“This league has been around since the 1940s, but Red Bay hasn’t been active as far as fielding a baseball program,” Red Bay Tiger head baseball coach Richard Maggerise said.

The Red Bay coach, who is in his second year at the head coaching position, said that post league baseball is popular, especially in larger schools.

Along with league play, the Red Bay High school team has also played eight games as part of their allotted four days of summer play dates that are allowed by the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

During the high school play dates, Red Bay played Lawrence County, Grissom High School of Huntsville, Cottage Hill Christian Academy from Mobile, and Hackleburg.

“This was a very good opportunity, especially getting to play at UNA on a college field for one of those days,” Maggerise said.

On June 15, the team got invited to play Madison’s elite travel team. The team was fielded by kids from Bob Jones, Sparkman, and James Clements, three of the largest schools in the state.

“Coach Burns, who is the head baseball coach at Calhoun Community College, called me regarding a couple of our players,” Maggerise said.

“He was wanting to evaluate them on a personal basis so he invited us to come up there and play a double header.

“As a result, our kids have got some exposure this summer and have received an opportunity to play on both UNA’s and the Calhoun Community College field.”

During the high school games coach Maggerise and assistant coach Purser can be on the field with the Red Bay school team, but because of athletic association rules, they can’t participate as coaches during the league games.

Maggerise said he wanted to thank Nick Schmittou and Taylor Hamilton for being the assistant coaches for the varsity league, and Dean Hubbard for coaching the junior high team this summer.

“In addition to the approved summer play dates, the league is another way of getting these kids out on the filed as much as possible,” Maggerise added.

So far, Post 120 has played Florence, Phil Campbell and Wilson multiple games and this past Saturday they played Haleyville.

Post 120 is playing without Red Bay’s leading hitter and pitcher Troy Borden. Borden is not on this team because he was asked earlier to play with another team in the same league.

“We were unsure as to what we were going to do this summer,” Maggerise said.

“I knew we were going to play but I didn’t know if we would get this established in time, so I gave him permission to play for them.”

Maggerise said it also gave him a chance to evaluate the team and to try to find someone to play third base when Borden is on the mound.

“Trying to put people in the right position was key for us last year. When we started trying to move people around, we started to get into trouble.

“Our number one goal was trying to find a third baseman for this summer. We decided on Nick Thorn for that position.”

Trying to fit in a large number of games in one month has been a big task, but according to Maggerise, the more you play, the better you’re going to get.

“With us being so young last season, we got a glimpse of how good we can be down the road,” he said.

“Me and Coach Purser wanted to make sure these kids played as much as possible. We’ve gotten the summer league started and have been rolling ever since.”

 

• Recent game recaps:

>Post 120 -18U picked up a 7-6 win over Phil Campbell this past Saturday.

Jonathon Sullivan led with two hits, and was 2 for 3 with 1 run scored; Chandler Allen was 0-3 with 1 run scored; Nick Thorn was 0-3 with 1 run scored; Jade Pounds was 0-3; Landen Burgett was 0-2; Kolby Knoblock was 0-1; Blake Hester was 0 for 0 with one run scored; Kolby Bragwell was 1 for 3 and 1 run scored; Kaleb Burroughs was 1 for 3 with 2 runs scored; and Nathan Terry was 1 for 2.

Post 120 scored 6 in the bottom of the first and 1 run in the third inning.

Knoblock took the win for Post 120.

Phil Campbell scored 1 run in the 2nd, 3rd and 7th, and 3 in the 4th.

Hyde took the loss for Phil Campbell.

Baker and Swinney scored two runs for Phil Campbell, Odom and Bigbee scored 1 run each.

Bigbee had 2 hits, Roberson, Barnett, Hyde, and Swinney had 1 hit each.

>Post 120 took an 8-3 loss against Haleyville on Saturday as well, scoring 2 runs in the 1st, and 1 run in the 4th.

Bragwell and Chandler Allen went 2 for 3, Sullivan and Thorn were 1 for 4, Burroughs was 1 for 3, and Hester was 1 for 2.

Landen Burgett took the loss for Red Bay. Nick Thorn hit his third home run of the summer this past Saturday against Haleyville.

>Post 120 defeated Florence 5-4 in game one and 9-8 in game two of a doubleheader on June 16. They also defeated Florence 7-3 on June 14, defeated Phil Campbell 14-7 on June 12 and defeated Wilson 12-2 on June 2. They lost to Wilson 10-9 on June 17.

Post 120 played doubleheaders at home against Mars Hill on Thursday, June 26 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and against Colbert County at home on Tuesday, July 1 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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