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Rocky Mount Coleman-Pitt Post 58’s baseball team will open postseason action Thursday evening at Gryphon Stadium when its hosts the No. 4 seed from Area I East - Southern Conference member New Bern Post 24. Post 58 (18-6) is the No. 1 seed from Area I East - Northern Conference.
The best-of-three series will move to New Bern High School’s Boykin Field for game 2 Friday evening.
If a game 3 is needed, play will resume in Rocky Mount Saturday night.
The second round will also be a best 2-of-3 series beginning Monday, July 16, weather permitting. Should Post 58 advance, it will face either Pitt County Post 39 or Ahoskie Post 102 in round 2.
New Bern may have a reputation of being unheralded the past few seasons, but Post 24 can’t be overlooked.
However, it has had its problems this summer, as a 2-11 record might indicate.
Many of the players that helped New Bern High win the Mideastern 4-A Conference regular season championship this past spring have either graduated, are injured or opted to play showcase baseball this summer. New Bern High head coach Gary Smith, who is also coaches Post 24, has youth all over the place.
West Craven Post 539 had a senior Legion baseball team at the beginning of the season, but by mid-June, a lack of players caused the program to disband.
Post 24 had the similar problems last summer when it didn’t have enough players to participate in the playoffs. Post 58, its scheduled first-round opponent in 2011, was issued a bye into the second round.
Three of those Post 539 players joined Post 24’s squad to give it some instant depth. Also Smith’s young players in the program have progressed.
One player Post 58 may have to watch out for is Game 1 starter Trevor Pence.
The right hander, who graduated last June, helped guide the New Bern Bears to that conference title after posting an 8-1 record and an ERA of 0.84. He earned All- Conference honors and was recently named to the N.C. Baseball Coaches Association All-State Team.
Post 58, under head coach Hank Jones, will need to get Pence, who is headed to Wake Tech next fall, out of the lineup and into Post 24’s inexperienced bullpen to insure a possible series win.
Area I East
(1) Rocky Mount Post 58 (18-6) vs. (4) New Bern Post 24 (2-11)
(2) Pitt County Post 39 (12-5) vs. (3) Ahoskie Post 102 (6-14)
(1) Wayne County Post 11 (11-6) vs. (4) Edenton Post 40 (5-9)
(2) Wilson Post 13 (11-9) vs. (3) Kinston Post 43 (9-6)
Winners in the first-round series begin play in the second round, also best 2-of-3, on Monday, July 16.
Area I West
(1) Raleigh Post 1 (12-5) vs. (4) Pittsboro (3-9)
(2) Apex Post 124 (9-5) vs. (3) Durham Post 7 (8-10)
(1) Johnston County Post 71 (16-4) vs. (4) Creedmoor (3-10)
(2) Cary Post 67 (8-9) vs. (3) Garner Post 232 (19-8)
Winners in the first-round series begin play in the second round, also best 2-of-3, on Monday, July 16