MORGANTOWN — Morgantown Post 2 baseball coach Tyler Barnette has good reason to be hopeful this weekend.
Post 2 will open play — against Clarksburg, at 4 p.m. — in the American Legion Area 2 baseball tournament at Bridgeport High School. Post 2 enters the four-team, double elimination bracket as the top seed after a regular season that saw them go undefeated against area teams, and 28-7 overall.
“I have high expectations due to the way we have played all year. We are 7-0 in the area. I don’t expect these guys to give any sub-par performances, especially now that the season is on the line,” Barnette said. “It’s good to be the one seed and be the home team throughout the tourney, but it’s all fair and square now.”
Barnette is confident in his team’s capabilities following their stout 2018 campaign thus far, but knows better than to underestimate a group of teams that have given his squad numerous close calls this summer.
“I think it gives us a little bit of confidence knowing we can beat all those teams, but a lot of those games were close games,” he said. “We can’t get too confident. We have to go out and win baseball games. We can’t rely about what happened in the past — that means nothing now.”
Throughout the season, Post 2 has relied on a heavy-hitting lineup to secure wins.
While he expects batting performance to play a crucial role in the postseason, he has warned his players that if there was ever a time to play well-rounded games, it’s now.
“Our bats have carried us through the season, and we need to keep that going. We’ve had good pitching throughout the season, but with our bats the way they’ve been, we have relied on those,” he said. “We need to put in a complete performance from here on out to win baseball games. As long as everything shows up, though, I think we’ll be fine.”
Barnette views the stage in Bridgeport as just the first step for Post 2 to show that their regular season run was no fluke, and that they are ready to compete with the best the state has to offer and bring some championship hardware back to Morgantown.
“It’s been a long season so far, and the kids have learned a lot and competed a lot. Now, it’s time to put that all to the test,” he said. “Some of the best teams in the state are in our area. It’s time for our guys to show what they have and how they have progressed throughout the year.”
Also competing in the tournament are No. 2 seed Fairmont and No. 3 seed Bridgeport. The tournament will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with games at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and if necessary, Sunday at 1 p.m.