Local Sports, Sports

Youth movement: Reed Bailey impressive for Post 2

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Experience doesn’t always win you the game in baseball, but a talented enough pitcher usually will.

Morgantown Post 2’s Reed Bailey is just 14 years old, but he doesn’t look it when he’s on the mound.

He possesses the poise and control of a seasoned veteran. Bailey displayed his skill once again Thursday night in leading Morgantown to a 10-0 victory against New Martinsville at Mylan Park.

He needed just 71 pitches in the shutout.

“I just do my thing, and once I find a rhythm, it’s easy to keep a pace. I’m always working and I always have a good defense behind me and a good offense to get us out in six,” Bailey said.

Despite his youth, Bailey has a knack for efficiency on the mound. He sits third on the team in pitches per inning and has recorded 18 strikeouts in four appearances this season – most impressively, however, he’s yet to allow an earned run on the year.

“That’s what he does – he throws strikes. He blanked Elkins earlier in the year, and that’s a team that’s going to be in the state tournament. He trusts what the guys around him are doing, and when we tossed him on the mound, he didn’t look back,” Post 2 coach Tyler Barnette said.

Bailey began the season as a member of the Junior Legion roster for Post 2 (23-5), but was called up midway through the season to help extend the team’s bullpen. He credits his experience on the lower roster with allowing him to experiment with his repertoire and craft his style, which helped prepare him to handle the varsity competition.

“In Junior Legion, I have to throw more strikes, and forcing contact is a big thing. That helped me get an understanding of what pitches I need to work on, and where to put the ones that are working. Once I got up here, I started to put that to work and I have a great defense to help me out,” he said.

“It means a lot – it shows that what’s happening at that level is getting our guys ready to play here. That level is about progression and growing. We plucked him midway through the year and told him to get it, and it’s been promising to see the results,” Barnette added.

Post 2 will take the field at Mylan Park for the final time this regular season today, as they host Fairmont at 7 pm in an Area 2 battle with the winner securing the top seed for the Area 2 Tournament next week. The two teams have met once this season, with Fairmont earning the win at home in an 11-10 nail-biter.

“Any time we can grab a win before the post-season is promising – our post-season starts tomorrow, not next week. When we play Fairmont, the winner gets the number one seed,” Barnette said.
“We have to go in and take care of business. We want to be able to have that spot, added Post 2’s Aaron Forbes.