Post 45 looking to fit parts together as season launches

Manager Ronnie Pugh says that pitching could be strong for Randolph County Post 45. (Bob Sutton / Randolph Record)

Young team to play for Randolph County

 ASHEBORO – It’s going to take time for Randolph County Post 45 to put it all together with a more youthful roster than in the past.

But the group still intends to be one of the top American Legion baseball teams in the state.

A week into the season, Post 45 split its first two outings.

“We’re getting some things done,” manager Ronnie Pugh said. “All of the things we’re going to put in, we haven’t done yet.”

The roster is still taking shape and that’s part of the annual process.

“One of the big things always is building chemistry with everybody,” said first baseman Drew Harmon, a three-year member of the team. “It’s getting back into things and then once we get rolling we’ll be OK.”

Connor Adams, a former Asheboro High School player, is also in his third season with Post 45.

“It’s early,” Adams said. “Last year we might have been a lot better (than at this stage), but it’s an age thing.”

Pugh said this is one of the younger teams he has fielded for Randolph County on the American Legion circuit. It will take time, but some of the notable talent from area schools will make up the team.

Until next week, Post 45 is missing Uwharrie Charter Academy players from its roster because the Eagles will be playing in the high school state finals this week. That list includes outfielder Carter Brown and catcher Grat Dalton, who both played for Post 45 last year, while Pugh said up to four others might be involved with the American Legion team soon.

And multi-year Post 45 standout Tanner Marsh, a shortstop, could be part of the mix. He finished his freshman college season for Liberty and has American Legion eligibility remaining. He lined out during a pinch-hitting role in Monday night’s exhibition with the Asheboro ZooKeepers.

Because of other endeavors, Marsh said it’s uncertain about his availability this summer. Adams, his former high school teammate, said Marsh would be a key addition.

“I’m still figuring it out,” Marsh said.

Either way, there could be a good core for Post 45. Pugh is encouraged by the pitching and the potential depth on that staff.

That includes Austin Lemons, a former Randleman pitcher who took a redshirt season with UNC Greensboro this year. Pitching also could come from Adams, Parker Kines and Braxton Walker among others.

“We’re going to be good defensively,” he said. “We’re going to have to work to score some runs, but that will come.”

The top of the lineup has included Jake Riddle, Clay Hill, John Kirkpatrick and Caleb Dunn. Tate Andrews has been at third base.

“There’s a lot of new faces,” Pugh said. “We want to give them all the opportunity to see what they can do.”

Post 45 finished with a 25-8 record last year.

Randolph County opened the season with last week’s 8-6 victory at Mocksville-Davie Post 54 and then fell the next night by 4-1 to visiting Chatham County Post 292.

Post 45 is again the host for the Southeast Regional, meaning an automatic spot in that competition from Aug. 7-11.

By Bob Sutton