TENNERTON – The Buckhannon Post 7 Legion baseball team will once again be a co-host for the 2019 Pizza Hut Hillbilly Hardball Classic that will take place this Thursday to Sunday.
The Classic is in its 29th year and Buckhannon has been a tournament location for over two decades now at William E. Phillips Memorial Field on the campus of Buckhannon-Upshur High School.
“It means a lot to be a co-host for the Classic,” remarked Buckhannon Post 7 manager Kevin Boring. “It allows us to showcase our facility which is really becoming one of the nicest venues in the north central region. The work put in over the past two years by the Buckhannon-Upshur players, coaches and boosters has been unbelievable. It really goes to show you what can be done when people put their hearts and hands together and work toward a goal. I also feel good that Chris George, the director of the Hardball, puts so much faith in Post 7 to be a host sight.”
This year’s tournament will feature 36 teams from five states including Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The Classic will be held at seven locations including William E. Phillips Memorial Field.
Robin Harvey Memorial Field in Elkins will serve as the host site along with fields at Davis & Elkins College, Philip Barbour High School, Lewis County High School, South Harrison High School and Bridgeport High School.
Buckhannon Post 7 was placed in the Black Division along with Ceredo-Kenova Post 93, Charleston Post 20, Fairmont Post 17, Florida Gulf Coast Green and Mifflin County (Pa.) Post 187.
Post 7 will start their tournament action on Thursday when they host Ceredo-Kenova Post 93 at 2 p.m. and then Florida Gulf Coast Green at 7 p.m.
On Friday, they will entertain Charleston Post 20 at 9 p.m.
Saturday’s action will see them play Mifflin County Post 287 at 11:30 a.m. and Fairmont Post 17 at 2 p.m.
Semifinal play is scheduled for Sunday afternoon while the championship game will occur at 5 p.m.
Post 7 will enter the Classic with a 1-1 record after having five of their first seven games canceled or postponed.
For Boring, he is eager to get his team back out on the diamond.
“The Hillbilly Hardball is not just a classic but it truly is an event,” stated Boring. “There will be teams from all over the eastern United States participating. To be able to compete against the likes of Mifflin (Pa.) and Florida Gulf Coast this season is going to be a challenge but also gives our players a measuring stick so to speak regarding how they stack up against regional opponents with a long standing history of success. We also get the opportunity to face off against Ceredo-Kenova, Charleston and Fairmont American Legion teams. They are not on our regular season schedule which is nice to not duplicate regular season opponents in the hardball.”
While Boring is looking forward to the event for his team, he understands that five games in three days is a lot of baseball for his squad.
“Five games in three days is a lot of baseball,” noted Boring. “ I hope we can play a more consistent style of baseball. I hope all phases can come together - hitting, defense, starting pitching and relief pitching. To be successful against this caliber of competition we will need to do that.”
The 2019 Pizza Hut Hillbilly Hardball Schedule at William E. Phillips Memorial Field:
Thursday, June 13
11:30 a.m. – Ceredo Kenova Post 93 vs. Fairmont Post 17
2 p.m. – Ceredo Kenova Post 93 vs. Buckhannon Post 7
4:30 p.m. – Florida Gulf Coast Green vs. Fairmont Post 17
7 p.m. – Florida Gulf Coast Green vs. Buckhannon Post 7
9:30 p.m. – Mifflin County Post 187 vs. Charleston Post 20
Friday, June 14
11 a.m. – Mifflin County Post 187 vs. Fairmont Post 17
1:30 p.m. – Latrobe Jethawks vs. Beckley Post 32
4 p.m. – Mifflin County Post 187) vs. Ceredo-Kenova Post 93
6:30 p.m. – South Charleston Post 94 vs. Moundsville Post 3
9 p.m. – Charleston Post 20 vs. Buckhannon Post 7
Saturday, June 15
9 a.m. – Mifflin County Post 187 vs. Florida Gulf Coast Green
11:30 a.m. – Mifflin County Post 187 vs. Buckhannon Post 7
2 p.m. – Fairmont Post 17 vs. Buckhannon Post 7
4:30 p.m. Florida Gulf Coast Developmental vs. Sissonville Post 94
7 p.m. – Charleston Post 20 vs. Ceredo-Kenova Post 93
9:30 p.m. – Florida Gulf Coast Green vs. Charleston Post 20