TENNERTON – For Buckhannon Post 7 general manager Kevin Boring, his philosophy for the upcoming 2019 baseball season is quite simple – be better than you were the day before.
It can also translate to be better than you were the season before, and thus far Post 7 has accomplished that the last two seasons under Boring.
Boring’s team won 12 games in 2017 and raised their win total to 13 in 2018.
“The first goal for this season would be to continue increasing our season win total,” Boring said.
“Each of the last two seasons we have been able to do that. I also want our guys to continue to show progression in how we play the game -- hustling on and off the field, having good approaches at the plate, focusing on making pitches and throwing strikes on the mound and having a team first attitude. If we can make progress in these areas the wins will take care of themselves.”
Buckhannon Post 7 will get their season underway tonight when they visit Preston for a 7 p.m. game.
Boring will turn to a roster loaded with Post 7 experience from last season as 11 players return to achieve their goals this season.
“We have several top returning players including shortstop Taylor Whitehair (who completed his freshman year at Wingate University),” noted Boring. “Taylor had a strong legion season last year and we are looking for him to build on that. He has put on 20 pounds of muscle since last season and he has looked good in our early season workouts.”
Last season, Whitehair hit an impressive .370 for Post 7 with 12 RBIs in 54 at-bats.
Post 7’s top three hitters from last season all return as well.
First baseman Nick Calef-Boring hit .522 last season while middle infielder Alek Seech hit .517 and outfielder Logan Bailey hit .429.
Other top returnees include outfielder Zach White (.348), second baseman Hunter Stone (.319), catcher-third baseman Casey Hamner (.274), outfielder Wesley Rosencrance (.250) and catcher-third baseman Trey Leigh (.157).
Also back are third baseman Jay Burnside and first baseman Brady Hurst who saw limited playing time last season.
“Offensively, we have the potential to do good things,” noted Boring. “We have guys that can get on base like Bailey, Seech and Stone. If they can do that and get into scoring position, we have guys like Nick Calef-Boring, Whitehair and Hamner that can knock them in.”
Calef-Boring has led the B-U high school team the last two seasons and legion last year in RBIs. In his last 79 games (HS and Legion combined) he has 97 RBIs.
Hamner has led the high school team the last two years and legion last season in home runs.
While the offense is certainly poised for a big year, Boring feels the pitching staff this season will be able to contribute as well.
“The pitching staff, if you look at it from a numbers standpoint, should be a strong part of the team,” stated Boring. “Whitehair, Bailey, Hamner, Wes Rosencrance are all pitchers we used last season and at times each had really good outings. The key will be their consistency.”
Whitehair led the pitching staff last season with 1.65 earned-run-average in seven games pitched compiling a 1-2 record.
Bailey and Hamner led the team in wins with four apiece while Rosencrance owned a 2-0 record.
“Tim Phillips returns to the legion team this season and we are looking for him to be a key addition to our pitching staff,” said Boring. “In practice we have worked hard on both the physical mechanics of pitching and the mental approach necessary to be successful. We have placed a premium on all our pitchers to throw strikes and limit walks”
Other pitchers that saw action this year for Buckhannon-Upshur include Ryan Smith, Ryan Hurst, Isaac Lane, Burnside, and Elijah Arbogast.
“Phillips is coming off a shoulder surgery and is showing improvement so far in practice,” noted Boring. “White (1-1), who saw action last legion season, is coming off a shoulder muscle injury and we are gradually working him back into the fold as well.”
Post 7 will face a daunting 24-game schedule against some of the best teams in the state including their co-hosting of the annual Hillbilly Hardball Classic.
“I think we play a tough schedule as always,” remarked Boring. “We have our traditional Area V opponents - Elkins, Weston/Jane Lew, Braxton, and Summersville. In addition, we added Garrett. (Md.) and Morgantown this season. We continue to play Clarksburg, Bridgeport and Preston. We are also a premier host site for the 29th annual Hillbilly Hardball Classic June 13-15. Our division includes very strong opponents including Mifflin County (Pa.) led by legendary coach Bernie Howard, Charleston, Fairmont, Ceredo-Kenova and Florida Gulf Coast (coached by former Greenbrier East and Major League Pitcher, Seth McClung). As always, we place focus and attention to each opponent but winning our area games is a key. We play each area V team twice during the regular season and our success against them determines our seeding for the Area V tournament.”
Joining Boring in the dugout again will be Todd Lane and first-year assistant coach Josh Burnside.
“We are blessed to have Todd Lane and Josh Burnside as assistant coaches,” said Boring. “Coach Lane does a great job specifically with our pitchers but overall has a strong base of fundamentals in all aspects of the game. He is also a very good instructor and educator which helps in coaching all our players. Coach Burnside brings a lot of positive energy to the team and has been a big help in keeping the boys focused.
“Former Buckhannon-Upshur standout and D-I player Dalton Westfall will be helping in a limited basis as his work schedule allows.”
A new aspect of the team this season will be a Junior Legion team. With a roster of 21 players, it allowed Boring to form the team and 14-game schedule including a post-season tournament.
2019 Buckhannon Post 7 American Legion Schedule
May 31 – at Preston, 6:30 p.m.
June 4 – at Braxton (Glenville State), 6 p.m.
June 5 – at Clarksburg (South Harrison), 7 p.m.
June 7 – at Garett (Md.), 7 p.m.
June 8 – at Summersville (Doubleheader), 12 p.m.
June 10 – Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
Jun 13-15 – 2019 Hillbilly Hardball Classic, TBA
June 18 – Elkins, 7 p.m.
June 20 – at Morgantown, 7 p.m.
June 21 – Braxton, 6 p.m.
June 25 – Jane Lew, 7 p.m.
June 29 – Summersville (doubleheader), 1 p.m.
July 2 – at Elkins, 7 p.m.
July 8 – at Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
July 9 – Preston, 6:30 p.m.
July 12 – Clarksburg, 7 p.m.
July 17 – Jane Lew, 6:30 p.m.
July 19 – Garrett (Md.), 7 p.m.
July 22-24 – Area V Tournament, TBA
2019 Buckhannon Post 7 American Legion Junior Schedule
May 30 – Preston, 7 p.m. (postponed)
June 5 – at Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
June 11 – at East Fairmont, 7 p.m.
June 17 – at Sissonville (doubleheader), 5 p.m.
June 24 – at Preston, 7 p.m.
June 27 – Sissonville (doubleheader), 5 p.m.
June 30 – Morgantown (doubleheader), 1 p.m.
July 11 – Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
July 13 – at Morgantown, (doubleheader), 1 p.m.
July 15 – East Fairmont, 7 p.m.
July 19-21 -- Junior League State Tournament in Fairmont, TBA
2019 Buckhannon Post 7 American Legion Roster
Elljah Arbogast – Shortstop/Pitcher
Logan Bailey – Center Field/Pitcher
Jay Burnside – Third Base/Pitcher
Nick Calef-Boring – First Base/Right Field/DH
Zach Calef-Boring – Infield/Outfield
Parker Browning – Catcher/Outfield
Evan Coffman – Center Field/Pitcher
Johnnie Haddix – Catcher/Outfield
Casey Hamner – Pitcher/Catcher/Third Base
Brady Hurst – First Base/Pitcher
Isaac Lane – Pitcher/Shortstop
Trey Leigh – Catcher/Third Baseman
Tim Phillips – Left Field/Pitcher/Second Baseman
Wesley Rosencrance – Pitcher/Outfield
Alek Seech – Second Base/Center Field/Shortstop
Ryan Smith – First Base, Right Field/Pitcher
Hunter Stone – Second Base/Center Field
Cam Tenney – Second Base/Outfield
Borgy Tenney – Outfield
Zach White – Outfield/Pitcher
Taylor Whitehair – Shortstop/Pitcher