Kinston Post 43 hosts Area 1 Eastern Finals Monday
Kinston Post 43's Malik Dixon hopes to help the team in its upcoming series against Pitt County Post 39. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
The beasts of the East start their clash Monday.
Kinston Post 43 hosts Game 1 of the best-of-5 American Legion Area 1 East championship at the Ronnie Battle Baseball Complex at Kinston High School. The opponent is Pitt County Post 39, one of just two teams to defeat Kinston Post 43 this season. The teams split the season series at one game a piece and while Post 43 has the home field advantage, Coach Ty Eason said he expects the best from Post 39.
“It seems like every year, Pitt brings a scrappy and tough team,” Eason said. “It’s no different in the playoffs and we have to put our best foot forward if we’re going to advance.”
Kinston Post 43 won the first meeting 1-0 on June 3 at Pitt Community College, behind a combined two-hitter from Camden Noble and Trevor Sears, along with a Trey McLawhorn solo home run in the second inning. Post 43 took a 6-0 advantage after four innings in the rematch 15 days later in Kinston, but Pitt County 39 tied it in the fifth, then went ahead in the seventh for the 8-6 win.
Kinston Post 43 hasn’t played a whole game since July 9 when the team defeated Wilson Post 13 13-3 in Game 1 of the Area 1 East semifinals before its opponent forfeited, but Eason said a matchup with Garner Post 116 at Campbell University two days later helped immensely.
“We were able to play three innings before weather prevented us from finishing, but we found out some things early on,” Eason said. “Overall, the game did what it was supposed to and got us back into the swing of things.”
Eason said the team will be at full strength and capacity to start the series.
“Everyone’s good and I think the time off was helpful,” Eason said. “We had some guys at church camps, others at the beach and others with obligations they were able to fulfill. They understand the importance of this series and they’re ready to play.”
Barring inclement weather, Pitt County Post 39 will host Game 2 Tuesday at Pitt Community College. The sites will alternate each following day until a winner is named. The victor of the series will face the winner of the Area 1 West division for seeding purposes before the state championships.
All games are scheduled for 7 p.m.