American Legion Post 284 battled their rivals from across the county, South Richmond/Chesterfield Post 137, last week in the district championship.
Once it rained it poured for the Buccaneers as they cruised to an 18-8 victory and a berth in the state tournament.
“If we hit the baseball the way we’ve hit the baseball the last three teams, we’re going to be tough in the tournament,” coach Jeremy Cole said.
Trailing 7-5 heading into the top of the seventh, the final inning in Legion ball, the Bucs needed a crooked number on the scoreboard to tie or win. They plated 13.
Thomas Dale High School product Andrew Roach drove in three runs and in so doing extended a torrid three-game stretch where he’s knocked in 12 runs. Matoaca High product Hunter Vaughan drove in four runs in what became a romp.
“Roach has been a firecracker for us,” Cole said. “He hit two doubles against Post 125 [Lakeside] to get us to the District 11 championship and hit two more doubles against Post 137. He’s our best catcher and has been one of our best hitters down the stretch.”
Ricky Jones (Hopewell/University of Richmond commit) had four hits in the game against Post 137, while Ethan Everhart (Matoaca) had a key hit to get the seventh inning going.
Grant Vest (Matoaca) continued to hit well. Fourth on the team in batting average, Cole called him a “diamond in the rough.”
While the game was a rivalry, it’s all respect between the two teams.
“I’ve known coach Jack Horner for about 10 years,” explained Cole. “If it wasn’t going to be us going to the state tournament, I wanted it to be them.”
Grayson Kirby delivered an outstanding pitching performance, firing a complete game against Post 125.
With the victory, the Bucs play Post 16 Lynchburg in the first round at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Stadium, home of the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Cleveland Indians’ Class A minor league affiliate.