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P-31 seniors hope to build on early success

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Legion baseball roundup

By Robert Howey

 

   

Lancaster Post 31 American Legion senior team head coach Marc Rape is pleased with his team’s early-season play, but he adds there’s room for improvement.

“We still have a lot of work to do and we’re definitely not satisfied where we are at this point in our season,” he said.

P-31, 4-2, 3-1 in American Legion baseball League V play, is scheduled to return to play Thursday night, June 13 when it hosts Clover after the break for June week with the 2013 high school graduations.

The P-31 seniors were slated to host Rock Hill Post 34 on Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m., but the game was reset with the Rock Hill area graduation.

Lancaster sports a solid mix of players, including seven members off the 2012 team which earned a berth in the state tournament in Greenwood where it finished third and went 23-10.

“We’re looking pretty solid,” said Rape. “I feel our pitching and defense are strong. Our hitting will come around and that’s an area we need to work on.

“The key is being patient and having good approaches at the plate.”

The Post 31 pitching staff includes Jordan Brock, Tripp Rollings, C.D. Pelham, Drew Hopper, Chandler Neal, Kholby Pate, Evan Flynn and Dustin Eddins.

Pelham and Rollings are hopeful draft picks for the annual Major League Baseball amateur player draft which began Thursday night.

Flynn has handled the bulk of the catching duties.

Versatile Trey Payne and newcomer Marshall Jackson are also slated to see action at catcher.

Rollings and Pelham are working at first base when not on the mound.

Neal is at second base, with Payne at shortstop.

Hopper along with Neal and Payne will work at the middle infield positions.

Wyatt Duncan, Hopper and Brock have drawn playing time at third base.

Returnee Jonah Crenshaw is handling center field, with Pate in right field and Corey McKenzie in left field.

Crenshaw, a standout at Lancaster High School during his prep baseball career, is coming off his first season at Toccoa Falls College (Ga.), which won the National Christian College National Championship last month.

Sidney Watson will also see time in center field.

Skylar King and Eddins are working in right field, with Brandon Cato and Watson slated for left field playing time.

Rape, assisted by Brant Barnes and Zack Rollings, said the team’s goal is a return to the state tournament.

“We are off to a good start, but we have to stay humble and focused,” Rape said. “We have a good work ethic and that’s a key. We have to keep working to improve.”

The P-31 baseball program is guided by athletic officer Scott Cato.