Mix of experience, youth fill Post 13 roster
BENNINGTON — Post 13 American Legion baseball coach Scott Buck asks for three simple things from his team.
"I want them to hustle, I want them to get dirty and I want them to never quit," Buck said. "If they can do that for me, I'm satisfied."
Buck leads his group of high school-aged players and first year college students into the 2019 season with an optimistic approach.
As of now, the team is carrying 17 players.
"We have a nice mix of young and old and had some nice surprises," Buck said. "I'm optimistic [about the season]. I think we're going to be solid in the infield especially."
Around the infield, Tanner King will get most of the playing time at first base, with players like Caleb Hay and Ethan Labatt as other options there. Across the diamond at third will be Chandler Pouk, a Burr and Burton senior who returns this summer.
Up the middle, Leland and Gray graduate Pat McDonald will most likely start at shortstop
"Pat is a really slick middle infielder," Buck said.
Completing the double plays with McDonald at second base will be Will Buck, who will also see time at shortstop and in the outfield.
Brodie Krawczyk will get some playing time at shortstop as well.
Behind the plate at catcher, Post 13 has multiple options. BBA senior Owen King is expected to start, but Krawczyk, Guy Milliman and Bailey Cross are options there as well.
"I was really excited to see Chandler bring Owen over," Scott Buck said.
In the outfield, Post 13 has plenty of talent. Joey McCoy, Casper Rowe, Jack Ware, Andrew Stevens, Anthony Mazzola, LaBatt and Buck are among the many players who will fill those spots depending on the pitcher in any particular game.
In baseball, a team can never have enough pitching and that's especially the case with summer ball, where vacations and other obligations can get in the way. Scott Buck won't have to worry about that part of the game because he has plenty of arms ready to go.
McCoy, Buck, Rowe, Stevens, Krawczyk, Hay, Mazzola, LaBatt, Jack Lane and Dylan Babson will also see time on the mound for Post 13.
There are eight current or former MAU players on the roster, along with four from BBA, two from Arlington, two from Hoosick Falls and one Leland and Gray.
There is plenty of individual talent on the roster and there's hope the team can take a step forward after a handful of of disappointing seasons.
"It's on us as coaches to mold them into a team. We have the makings of a team that can compete," Scott Buck said. "Our job as coaches to help them improve at whatever they need, help build on their strengths and prepare them for the next level, if that's what they choose to do."
Post 13 gets its season started on Wednesday with a game against Post 5 Brattleboro on the road and plays five of its first six games away from home.
The team's home opener is June 16 against Lake Region at noon and has a stretch of 10 straight home games from June 20 to July 11.
"There are 24 games this year. Ludlow dropped out of the south, so that left only seven teams," Scott Buck said. "The north added a team, so instead of a 21-game schedule, we've squeaked in three more. Let's hope Mother Nature cooperates."
In the end, Legion ball is all about enjoying the game of baseball and helping the players improve on the field and off of it.
"I enjoy the game and I want these guys to have fun doing it," Scott Buck said. "In order to have fun playing this game, you have to play well. There's a difference between losing and getting beat. If you go out and play your best game and end up on the wrong end, you got beat that day. If you play like crap, you lose. I really try to impress that upon these guys."
Roster: Ethan LaBatt, Tanner King, Andrew Stevens, Owen King, Chandler Pouk, Brodie Krawczyk, Anthony Mazzola, Caleb Hay, Casper Rowe, Joey McCoy, Pat McDonald, Jack Lane, Will Buck, Guy Milliman, Bailey Cross, Dylan Babson, Jack Ware.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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