MORGANTOWN — Looking at the roster for the American Legion Morgantown Post 2 baseball team, there is clearly a lot of pop from the right-handed batters box.
Of the 15 players on the team, 13 hit from the right side, including the bulk of the middle of the lineup. Post 2 is made up of players from high schools in Monongalia County, as well as former Mon County players who have not reached the age cut off.
A few of those big bats includes University’s Cam Stoldt, Morgantown’s Caleb Taylor and Colton Matthews, and former MHS first baseman Andrew Berry, who just finished his freshman season, at Potomac State, in Keyser. Berry, Stoldt and Matthews started almost all of last season, while Taylor and MHS’s Quintin Smith saw significant playing time in spot action.
“I think our lineup is very strong this season,” Berry said. “Even though we are only returning three starters, everyone on the team has seen significant playing time in Legion ball last season and high school ball this past spring. That will help a lot as we won’t be losing much experience. I have a lot of confidence in each and every player on our team and can’t wait to see what we can do this upcoming season.”
After a successful first year of college ball where he batted over .500 as a primary sub and pinch hitter, Berry was looking to play in a summer league to build off of it. With the way manager Tyler Barnette runs the Post 2 program, it was a no-brainer for Berry.
“They run the program almost identical to a college program, which I think is a credit to Tyler and the other coaches because they’ve all played college ball and really know what they’re doing,” Berry said.
Barnette played at Fairmont State, while assistant coaches Andy Altemus and JT Heenan played at WVU and Travis Renner played at West Virginia Wesleyan.
Altemus works with the pitchers, and Berry thinks the starting rotation could be one of the strong points of the team this year. Stoldt, Matthews, Taylor and MHS’s Gavin Cottle are experienced arms — all right-handed pitchers — but a few newcomers are coming along.
Identical twins Evan and Casey Smith, who played for UHS last season as freshmen, could be relied on to pitch in key situations. Ethan Smith — no relation — is another young arm that could pitch valuable innings after playing as a freshman at MHS.
“I think we are going to have a very good season,” Berry said. “My teammates are all very talented ballplayers and as long as we play as a team and are accountable for each other, the sky’s the limit for us.”
Post 2 will open its home schedule, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, against Moundsville Post 3. All home games are at Mylan Park.
The WAJR Wooden Bat Classic Tournament will be held this weekend, at Mylan Park. Six teams will play a round-robin Friday-Sunday.
Morgantown Post 2 roster
2 — Casey Smith, INF/RHP, University
4 — Chandler Watts, INF, University
5 — Evan Smith, OF/RHP, University
10 — Matt Renner, UTIL, University
11 — Quintin Smith, INF, Morgantown
12 — Andrew Berry, INF, Potomac State
16 — Justin Nelson, C/RHP, WVU
18 — Gavin Cottle, INF/RHP, Morgantown
21 — Clay Maholic, OF/RHP, University
22 — Ethan Smith, OF/RHP, Morgantown
23 — Luke Wiggs, UTIL, Morgantown Christian Academy
27 — Colton Matthews, UTIL, Morgantown
30 — Cam Stoldt, INF/RHP, University
33 — Caleb Taylor, UTIL, Morgantown
35 — Devon Neal, INF, Morgantown
32 — Tyler Barnette, 7th season, manager
15 — Andy Altemus, 3rd season, assistant coach
25 — Travis Renner, 3rd season, assistant coach
28 — JT Heenan, 1st season, assistant coach
Dale Miller 33rd season, general manager