For the second straight summer, Charleston Post 166’s first obstacle in the postseason will be Horry Post 111.
Post 166 (10-5) hosts Post 111 on Monday, July 15 (after deadline) to begin the second round of the South Carolina American Legion baseball playoffs.
If weather doesn’t interfere, Post 166 is slated to host Games 3 and 5 in the best-of-5 series on Wednesday and Friday at Cane Bay High School.
Games 2 and 4 are at Conway High School Tuesday and Thursday.
Post 166 won its second straight League 1 title and sixth since 2011 in the regular season.
“Any time you go back to back that’s something special,” Post 166 coach David Horton said. “It’s hard to repeat, especially when you’re talking about winning league championships but every year when we come in that’s one of our goals.”
As a league champion, Post 166 earned a first-round bye for the playoffs.
Post 111 (11-11), which finished third in League 2 behind Florence and Sumter, defeated Dalzell-Shaw Post 175 2-1 in a three-game series in the opening round, advancing with an 8-4 win in the decisive game at Conway High School on Friday.
Charleston swept Horry 3-0 in the first round in 2018.
The Charleston-Horry winner advances to square off against the winner of the Sumter Post 15 and Aiken Post 26 series.
Infielder Blake Marrs leads Post 166 at the plate with a .463 batting average, followed by catcher Travis Lott at .425. First baseman Noah Panezich is hitting .333 while second baseman Will McGuire is at .297 and utility player Jackson Price .290.
“We have 13 new players on this year’s team from last year,” Horton said. “We are trying really hard to build a program here like Sumter, Florence and Chapin/Newberry have. Long-term success comes from hard work and solid commitments and that’s where we are trying to get to.”
Post 166 last played on July 8, edging Sumter Post 15 1-0 at Sumter.
Pitcher John Shelton threw five shutout innings and Blake Marrs delivered a two-out RBI for the lone run in the non-league clash.
Marrs knocked in Will McGuire in the top of the first after McGuire led off with a double.
It was all the run support Shelton and Jordan Corte needed. Shelton struck out two batters and Corte got the last three outs that counted in the sixth.
Post 166 added to its lead with three runs in the top of the seventh but rain ended the game before Sumter could finish its at-bat in the bottom of the inning. Post 15 had the bases loaded and no outs.
It was officially a six-inning contest.
“We played errorless as did Sumter,” Horton said. “It was a really good American Legion game.”
The two squads were supposed to meet the next night but the game was rained out and eventually cancelled.
“Physically, we are pretty well rested,” Horton said. “We have had one practice and one game the last 10 days. Our field has been a small pond with all the rain lately. The guys are pretty diligent and have found ways and opportunities to throw pens, long toss and hit in cages. I like this team a lot. They’re great kids who love baseball.”