August 7 - Two-time reigning state champion Vienna Post 180 will begin play this afternoon at the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Asheboro, N.C.
Vienna (32-2) will play Brooklawn (N.J.) Post 72 in its opener at 12:30 p.m., with the loser playing in an elimination game tomorrow. Post 180 has won 12 straight behind a lineup that is hitting a cumulative .357 and averaging 12.3 runs per game, and its pitching staff allowed just eight runs while sweeping five games at the state tournament last week.
Three players in manager Nick Good’s lineup have driven in more than 30 runs, and shortstop Eric Lingebach (Oakton) and catcher Avery Neaves (South Lakes) have posted record-breaking campaigns. Lingebach, who is transferring to play at Christopher Newport, is hitting .389 with 16 home runs and has set a new post record with 61 RBI in 30 games. Neaves, who plays at St. John’s River State College in Florida, is hitting a team-high .430 with nine homers and 33 RBI in 23 games. He tied Post 180’s record with his 15th double in Saturday’s state final win and Good views him as an extension of the coaching staff on the field.
“I don’t know where this team we would be without this team from a leadership standpoint,” the manager said.
Others have also swung hot bats.
Zach Perkins (Madison) is hitting .389 with three homers and 33 RBI and Allen Yager (Oakton) is hitting .380 with 23 RBI. They join Lingebach and Neaves as players who have eclipsed 30 hits. The versatile Ryan Dooley (South Lakes) has been a key addition since joining the team full-time after completing his summer season with the Marucci Stars travel program, and two-way standout Josh Gjormand (Madison) adds both leadership and production on the mound and atop the lineup.
Braden Huebsch (South Lakes) went the distance on Saturday and won’t be available until tomorrow. He’s 7-0 with a 1.47 ERA in 49 innings, pacing the staff in all three categories. Gjormand and L.A. Rice (Flint Hill) each have five wins, and lefty Seth Richards (Oakton) is 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.
The other six teams at the regional are Canal (DE) Post 25, Morgantown (W.V.) Post 2, Wilmington (N.C.) Post 10, Funkstown (MD) Post 211, Hamburg (N.Y.) Post 527 and the host, Randolph County (N.Y.) Post 45. The tournament will run through Sunday, and the schedule and scores can be found here.
Photo of Avery Neaves by Joey Kamide