Archive for May 24th, 2006

KM legion preview

May 24, 2006

Here’s a look at my season preview (a little belated) of the Kings Mountain Post 155 American Legion Baseball team:

Randy Capps
Last season was a roller coaster ride for the Kings Mountain American Legion Baseball team.

It began with the team breaking ties from Post 155 and taking the field with only one player with any legion experience.

It continued with a 5-2 start that put the team squarely in contention for the Area IV Eastern Division race.

As quickly as the squad climbed, however, it fell just as quickly. The forfeiture of four games for the use of ineligible players resulted in a 3-13 overall record that left the team out of the postseason by a single game.

Kings Mountain head coach Chuck Austin hopes the ride is a little smoother this year.

“Hopefully, we won’t be dealing with any of that,” he said. “It just changed everybody’s attitude on everything (last year.) It just turned the whole thing around.”

The team is once again affiliated with Post 155, and the two players involved in last year’s eligibility controversy — Clover, S.C., products Michael and Steven Holland — are back in the fold this year.

Add those players to a healthy crop of returnees, and Austin thinks his team could make some noise in Area IV.

“We’ve got 10 guys back who started and played a bunch last year,” he said. “I think if our pitching comes around, we’ll be fine. We’re still very young. We’ll only lose three off this team for nest year.”

Kings Mountain products Josh Hendricks, Trey Robinson, Cody Barrett, Isaac Proctor and Luke Proctor form the nucleus of the squad, while the Cort Hall and the Holland brothers from Clover and Jordan Bingham (Cherryville) and Zach Williams (Bessemer City) provide experience as well.

Post 155 will also field a junior legion team this season, a move that Austin thinks will help the program in the long run.

“I think it will help us a lot,” he said. “We’ll have kids playing, we won’t have to cut anybody and we can move some of them up to the senior team if we need to. It kind of works as a farm system for us.”

Kings Mountain began its season with a 12-1, seven-inning loss to Cherryville Sunday night.

Post 155 (0-3) plays its home games at Kings Mountain High’s Lancaster Fields.