CLOVER — With the Clover Post 38 American Legion baseball team off to a challenging start, head coach Darrell VanDyke looks for the team to settle into a more competitive mode.
The Post 38 senior team fell to Fort Mill, Lancaster and Rock Hill Post 34 in consecutive games last week. While the Fort Mill and Lancaster losses were decisive, 7-0 and 22-2, the Lightning extended Post 34 to the limit before bowing 9-6.
Clover’s Chase Goldberg had a big game at the plate in the closely-contested lost to Rock Hill, with a 5-for-5 night against Post 34.
“Goldberg hit the ball well and we had 15 hits in the Rock Hill game,” VanDyke said of the Lightning’s offensive onslaught.
“Normally a team with 15 hits wins the game, but we walked 14, had three hit batters and made three errors,” said VanDyke, who also is head coach of the Clover Blue Eagle baseball team.
Vandyke of the loss to Lancaster: “Everything went wrong. We had some kids with a busy slate last week, including spring football workouts.”
The junior Lightning team lost a 7-6 nail-biter to the Rock Hill juniors and the younger blue team fell 7-1 to Rock Hill.
VanDyke said the Post 38 senior group, many of whom made up the Blue Eagle varsity roster, has been labeled a young team for quite some time. “There comes a time when you’re no longer a young team,” he said.
He believes there are young players in the system that can make a difference. “We have 40-plus kids playing legion baseball, and that’s a good thing,” he said.
The Post 38 senior team travels to Fort Mill Thursday, with the next home game slated for June 5 against Concord.
The remainder of the Post 38 regular season slate includes four consecutive road games, beginning June 11 at Rock Hill followed by trips to Denver June 12, Lancaster June 13 and Concord June 15.
Rounding out the schedule are home games against Rock Hill June 18 and Fort Mill June 20. Next is a road game at Fort Mill June 24, Lancaster at home June 25 and a June 27 game at Rock Hill Post 34.
All American Legion games have 7 p.m. starting times unless a double-header is on tap with a 6 p.m. start.
The Post 38 Junior Blue team will battle the junior Lightning team in double-header action June 7 at the Clover High School baseball field. The action will begin at 6 p.m., with future Post 38 senior and Blue Eagle contributors showcased at the CHS baseball facility.