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Covington Post 32 ready for American Legion tournament

COVINGTON — After winning state following a long absence from American Legion baseball, Covington Post 32 will try to do something no other Georgia team has done — win the Southeast Region Tournament.

“Everyone is pretty focused and all the guys are excited. If we continue to play the way we’ve been playing we’re going to be in it. I’ve been preaching intense concentration the while summer. The biggest problem with a lot of kids is they don’t stay focused on what they’re doing. That’s how you end up having a bad inning. If you stay out of the bad inning and keep fresh pitchers you’re going to be okay. Our pitching staff is pretty deep and I feel pretty good about that,” Post 32 head coach Bill Dallas said. “We may not win it, but we’re going to be in it. That’s all you can ask.”

The A’s will represent the Georgia in the region tournament at McCrary Park in Asheboro, North Carolina against the North Carolina champions, Shelby Post 82, who enter the tournament with a record of 44-2, today at 4:30 p.m..

“They have like five college freshman. That’s a pretty tough draw off the bat,” Dallas said. “Other states in the Southeast have more legion teams than we (Georgia) do. I’m sure the competition is going to be real good but if we go in there playing like we’ve been playing I think we’re going to be okay. But being a pretty judge of talent I think we have some good pretty good kids on this team. We’ve got good players and I think we’re going to be okay.”

The Covington head coach knows that good pitching will beat out good hitting. That is why he placed a high emphasis on his pitching staff of Gray Ritchey, Blake Shope, Dalton Reagin, Drew Buckhault, Zack Beggs and Domenic Bazzani.

While the Post 32 pitching staff have done a good job all season, they have also been able to put a lot or runs on the board. Even though Dallas knows he can count on the big bats of Buckhault, Beggs and Bazzani for the long ball, the team is also capable of producing runs in a lot of other manners as well.

“We’ve manufactured runs by bunting real well, we’ve moved runners over. The team has really responded well. I just think our team is capable of manufacturing runs and we’ve got big bangers that can drive it it,” Dallas said. “If we stay out of the big inning and not make mistakes, here again, I’m not going to say we’re going to win it but I think we’ll be in the heat of the battle.”