Post 45 looks for home comforts in regional

Randolph County Post 45 players gather around manager Ronnie Pugh during the state tournament in Buies Creek. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

ASHEBORO – More than two weeks will have passed between official home games for Randolph County Post 45.

But those coming this week will be the biggest of the season in the American Legion baseball’s Southeast Regional at McCrary Park.

The eight-team regional will be held Wednesday through Aug. 7.

Post 45 will meet the South Carolina champion Rock Hill Post 34 in the Day 1 nightcap at 6:30 p.m. After that, Randolph County’s schedule will be dictated by its results based on how the bracket unfolds.

Two teams from North Carolina will be in the field. Post 45 (29-11) was guaranteed a spot as the host team, while North Carolina state champion Wilmington Post 10 will join Randolph County.

Other teams in the regional field will be South Carolina runner-up Camden Post 17, along with state champions from Georgia (Evans Post 192), Kentucky (Owensboro Post 9), Florida (Belleview Post 284) and Tennessee (Columbia Post 19).

Camden faces Owensboro in the regional opener, followed by Evans vs. Columbia and then Wilmington vs. Belleview.

Games are generally scheduled for 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., though there are just three games on the Friday docket and then 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. games Saturday.

Randolph County Post 45 infielder Tatum Marsh of Asheboro has been a key player for the team this season. He also pitched during the state tournament. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

The double-elimination tournament is slated to conclude Aug. 7. A championship game is set for 1:30 p.m., with the “if necessary” game scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

The regional winner goes to the American Legion World Series, which takes place from Aug. 11-16 in Shelby.

Asheboro has been a fixture as a regional host since 2013, though sometimes it welcomes the Mid-Atlantic Regional. Post 45 won regionals in its home ballpark in 2017 and 2018 in the Southeast Regional and in 2019 in the Mid-Atlantic Regional. The 2023 Southeast Regional is also slated for McCrary Park.

Last year, Post 45 went 1-2 in the Mid-Atlantic Regional, so there’s a different pool of teams coming for this week’s Southeast Regional.

Other regional sites this year are in Pelham, Ala.; Shrewsbury, Mass.; Fairfield, Calif.; Midland, Mich.; Morgantown, W.Va.; Rapid City, S.D.; and Gillette, Wyo.

By Bob Sutton