I only caught a few innings since I was the self-appointed photog for the camera-challenged Senior Staff Writer but it was good to see Wilson American Legion Post 13 finally win a baseball game.
By the time I arrived at Fleming Stadium on Wednesday evening, Post 13 was routing Pitt County Post 160 7-0 in the second inning. Wilson ended up winning 11-2 as it banged out 14 hits in winning for the first time in five games.
The American Legion season is early. Wilson still hasn't played an (deep breath) Area One Eastern Division North Conference game (exhale) yet but nobody wants to be 0-5. Especially a team with this much talent.
Head coach Rusty Dail has five college players on the roster, including starting pitchers Justin Nygard and Bentley Massey. Throw in Alex Howard (an All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association second-team pick as a freshman at St. Augustine's this spring), Chris "Petey" Lamm and Zac Crumpler and that's some pretty good experience along with the high school players on the squad.
In my five years of observing Post 13, I have to say this lineup and pitching staff has the most potential — at least at this stage of the season. Of course, Dail has had some good teams over the past few seasons, including the 2006 Eastern Division regular-season champion and the 2003 North Conference winner. Most of Dail's current players were members of the first Post 13 junior team to reach the state tournament in 2006, so success is expected of this group.
It's hard to say which team is the one to beat in the Eastern Division since no one really knows who is playing for whom at this time of year. But Pitt County Post 39 is a perennial favorite and certainly Wayne County Post 11, state tournament qualifiers the past two summers, is always lethal. You can't overlook Rocky Mount Post 58 which should benefit from the contributions of the Rocky Mount High School players (although you can bet Brian Goodwin will be wearing a minor league uniform this summer).
But I think Wilson will be right in the thick of things by the end of the month. And if I'm right, maybe I'll get a set of keys to Fleming so I won't have to worry about getting locked in again.