The summer baseball season has arrived locally and it will be an active next several weeks for a good number of local athletes playing American Legion Baseball.
McDowell County American Legion Post 56 will be fielding a junior legion team again for 2018. The 56ers’ season got underway Monday night with a two-game sweep of Team Venom and will continue through the month of June, playing other local junior legion teams across Western North Carolina.
McDowell will play a total of 29 games – most of them doubleheaders – between now and June 27 against other Area IV programs including teams from Watauga, Caldwell, Rutherford, Henderson and Cleveland Counties.
Post 56 will also have a series with Landrum, S.C., starting on May 30 at Landrum High School and then hosting The Palmetto State team on June 5.
This year’s squad is comprised mainly of upcoming freshmen and sophomores who will be at McDowell High School next school year. Eight of those on the roster played junior legion ball a year ago. The returning players include Cyrus Black, Chapel Matson, Ethan Hamm, Gage Gentry, Ben Barnes, Ethan Davis, Three Young and Justin Davis.
The rest of the junior legion roster is made up of current middle school players Ethan Hensley, Luke Roberts, Logan Duncan, Ty Smith, Caleb Jimison, Travis Bailey, Elijah Quinn, Cole Weaver, Michael Lewis and Taylor Beck.
The 56ers junior legion team will be managed by current McDowell assistant Matt Brown with former legion players Trevor Lowdermilk, Landon Whitson and Brandon Krause assisting.
McDowell County will also have a significant representation in Morganton this summer as Burke County Post 21 will feature several Titans on its roster.
It all starts at the top with current McDowell assistant Brent Rowe, who will be managing Post 21 for the second consecutive season. His roster will include a lot of familiarity as nine McDowell players will make up a good chunk of his lineup. They include pitchers Matt Smith, Juan Campos and Josh Maddox along with position players Sydney Pike, Dylan Poplin, Brycen Seymore, Nathan Watkins and Ryan Murdock.
Tyler Walker, a 2017 McDowell graduate and current Erskine College Baseball player gives the county nine athletes on the Burke County roster.
After dealing with inclement weather last week, Post 21 will open its season on Friday in Buncombe County.
McDowell Post 56 Junior American Legion schedule
Date Opponent Time
May 22 East Rutherford 6 p.m.
May 23 Henderson 5:30
May 25 @Shelby 7 p.m.
May 29 Rutherford 5 p.m.
May 30 @Landrum (SC) 5 p.m.
June 1 Caldwell 6 p.m.
June 5 Landrum (SC) 5 p.m.
June 6 @E. Rutherford 6 p.m.
June 7 E. Rutherford 6 p.m.
June 12 @Watauga 5 p.m.
June 13 Watauga 5 p.m.
June 14 South Caldwell 5 p.m.
June 19 @Rutherford 5 p.m.
June 21 @South Caldwell 6 p.m.
June 23 @Henderson 3 p.m.
June 26 @E. Rutherford 6 p.m.
June 27 @Caldwell 5 p.m.