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6-16-21 roundup: Prep baseball, Legion baseball, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Five Gaston and Lincoln county teams remain alive in the N.C. High School Athletic Association baseball playoffs that move into the second round on Thursday night. In Class 2A, East Lincoln will host Thomasville Ledford and South Point will visit R-S Central. And in Class 1A, Mountain Island Charter will visit Hayesville, […]

Area IV American Legion baseball update (thru June 16)

American Legion 2021 Area IV standings (thru June 16) Eastern Division Division Overall Gaston Post 144-266 1-0 1-0 Queen City 2-1 2-1 Lincoln County Post 455 0-0 0-0 Pineville Post 337 0-0 0-0 Union County Post 535 0-0 0-0 Gastonia Post 23 0-1 0-1 Mint Hill 0-1 0-1 Western Division Division Overall Asheville Post 70 […]

6-15-21 roundup: Prep baseball, College baseball, Legion baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a dramatic 6-5 win over Pine Lake Prep in the opening round of the N.C. 1A high school baseball playoffs. Cherryville was one of five local winners in Tuesday’s opening round; East Lincoln and South Point […]

Area IV American Legion baseball update (thru June 15)

American Legion 2021 Area IV standings (thru June 15) Eastern Division Division Overall Gaston Post 144-266 1-0 1-0 Queen City 1-1 1-1 Lincoln County Post 455 0-0 0-0 Mint Hill 0-0 0-0 Pineville Post 337 0-0 0-0 Union County Post 535 0-0 0-0 Gastonia Post 23 0-1 0-1 Western Division Division Overall Maiden Post 240 […]

6-14-21 roundup: College baseball, Legion baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Former Crest baseball standout Jack Millen was honored Monday as the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy athletic department Julie Berke Rookie of the Year Award male winner for the 2020-21 season. Millen, a 2020 Crest High graduate, also was named the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year after he helped the Mariners advance […]

Area IV American Legion baseball update (thru June 14)

American Legion 2021 Area IV standings (thru June 14) Eastern Division Division Overall Queen City 1-0 1-0 Gaston Post 144-266 0-0 0-0 Lincoln County Post 455 0-0 0-0 Mint Hill 0-0 0-0 Pineville Post 337 0-0 0-0 Union County Post 535 0-0 0-0 Gastonia Post 23 0-1 0-1 Western Division Division Overall Maiden Post 240 […]

6-13-21 roundup: Legion baseball, College track and baseball, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100’s Jerry Hudson was inducted into the North Carolina American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday in Raleigh during the annual North Carolina American Legion convention. Hudson, currently the N.C. Area IV commissioner, also is a longtime Cherryville Post 100 athletic officer. Hudson was inducted with Rowan […]

Area IV American Legion baseball update (thru June 13)

American Legion 2021 Area IV standings Eastern Division Division Overall Queen City 1-0 1-0 Gaston Post 144-266 0-0 0-0 Lincoln County Post 455 0-0 0-0 Mint Hill 0-0 0-0 Pineville Post 337 0-0 0-0 Union County Post 535 0-0 0-0 Gastonia Post 23 0-1 0-1 Western Division Division Overall Maiden Post 240 1-0 1-0 Asheville […]

6-12-21 roundup: College baseball, Legion baseball, Prep baseball, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Wingate University completed its comeback run through the NCAA Division II World Series to finish as 2021 baseball national champions. And former Crest standout Logan McNeely was named tournament most valuable player after helping the Bulldogs beat Central Missouri 5-3 in Saturday’s championship game at the USA National Training Complex in Cary. […]

Area IV American Legion baseball update (through June 12)

American Legion 2021 Area IV standings Eastern Division Division Overall Gaston Post 144-266 0-0 0-0 Gastonia Post 23 0-0 0-0 Lincoln County Post 455 0-0 0-0 Mint Hill 0-0 0-0 Pineville Post 337 0-0 0-0 Queen City 0-0 0-0 Western Division Division Overall Asheville Post 70 0-0 0-0 Burke County Post 21 0-0 0-0 Caldwell […]

6-11-21 roundup: College baseball, Legion baseball, Prep baseball

By Richard Walker Wingate wasn’t just satisfied with making its first NCAA Division II World Series. The Bulldogs’ fourth straight win at the event at the USA National Training Complex in Cary – an 8-7, 11-inning thriller over Angelo State – will give the school the chance to play for a national championship on Saturday. […]

Sunday’s roundup: Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Crest, East Lincoln, Mountain Island Charter and R-S Central have clinched at least a share of their respective league titles as the regular season comes to a close this week – and Cherryville and Lincoln Charter play a huge matchup that’ll decide the area’s other league title. Crest (11-0, 11-0) will take […]

Saturday’s roundup: Legion baseball, Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball and hockey, Golf

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100 opened its 2021 season in dramatic fashion. Post 100, whose 2020 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, played its first game since the 2019 state tournament at home Saturday night in a non-division matchup with Rock Hill, S.C. And Cherryville scored all of its run […]

Wednesday’s roundup: Prep baseball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker After a slow start, the Gastonia Honey Hunters are one of the hottest teams in pro baseball. The first-year Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team evened its record at 3-3 on Wednesday with a 7-3 victory over the York Revolution to extend its winning streak to three games. Gastonia started 0-3 before […]

Tuesday’s roundup: Prep baseball, College baseball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker In only its second season of high school baseball, Rock Hill’s Legion Collegiate Academy is in the South Carolina High School League state championship series this week. Coached by former Lincoln Charter and Clover High coach Devon Lowery, the Lancers are 21-7 overall after going 13-1 to win the Class 2A League […]

Monday’s roundup: College baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Eight Carolinas teams and six local products will be participating this weekend in the NCAA college baseball championships after the 64-team field was announced on Monday. East Carolina, which won the American Athletic Conference regular season title, is the only top-seeded Carolinas team and the Pirates also have three local products who […]

Sunday’s roundup: College baseball and softball, Prep baseball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Duke set history on Sunday with its first ACC baseball tournament title in a 1-0 win over N.C. State at Charlotte’s Truist Field in the championship game. The Blue Devils, who finished in last place in the seven-team Coastal Division, extended their winning streak to 12 games as coach Chris Pollard guided […]

Cherryille Post 100 overcame adversity to win area, state and regional before advancing to American Legion World Series title game

By Richard Walker Ever since Cherryville Post 100 began its American Legion baseball program in 1937, success has often followed. Cherryville has set Area IV records for championships (18) and regular season titles (22) in addition to building one of North Carolina’s top programs with seven state titles, five state runner-up finishes and 11 state […]

Friday’s roundup: College baseball, Prep baseball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker A pair of North Carolina schools that haven’t won an ACC tournament in years and a pair of teams with titles within the last 10 years square off today in the ACC baseball semifinals. Duke, which has never won an ACC tournament and hasn’t won an ACC baseball title since 1961, meets […]

Thursday’s roundup: College baseball and basketball, Prep baseball and track, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Three teams punched their tickets to Saturday’s ACC baseball tournament semifinals with wins on Thursday as Duke, Georgia Tech and N.C. State were victorious in back-to-back-to-back nail-biting finishes. Duke edged Miami, Fla., 3-2 in Thursday’s opener to wrap up the Pool D championship, then Georgia Tech edged Louisville 9-8 in 12 innings […]

Tuesday’s roundup: Prep baseball, College baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Local favorite North Carolina was eliminated from championship contention on Tuesday night in the first day of the ACC baseball tournament at Charlotte’s Truist Field. Pitt (23-19), which entered the tournament on a seven-game losing streak, disappointed a partisan crowd of 3,235 as Ron Washington Jr.’s two-run home run in the eighth […]

Sunday’s roundup: College baseball, Legion baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey

By Richard Walker The pool play schedule has been set for this week’s ACC baseball tournament at Charlotte’s Truist Field. Atlantic Division champion Notre Dame and Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech are the top-seeded teams in the tournament that will be completed next weekend with a four-team, single-elimination bracket to determine a champion. The pool […]

Saturday’s roundup: College baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Pool play has been set for this week’s ACC baseball tournament at Charlotte’s Truist Field. Atlantic Division champion Notre Dame and Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech are the top-seeded teams in the tournament that will be completed next weekend with a four-team, single-elimination bracket to determine a champion. The pools, where each […]

Friday’s roundup: Legion baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, College baseball

By Richard Walker When the American Legion World Series makes its return to Shelby after being cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Veterans Field and Keeter Stadium will be allowed full capacity. This comes after N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper’s May 14 announcement that most restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 […]

Thursday’s roundup: Prep baseball and wrestling, Pro hockey, College baseball, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Zane Brockman threw another gem for Kings Mountain as the Mountaineers edged Cramer 3-2 on Thursday night at the Gastonia FUSE stadium in a Big South 3A Conference game. Kings Mountain improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the league. Cramer (3-5, 2-5) has played all of its home games at the […]

Wednesday’s roundup: College baseball, Middle school sports, Pro hockey, High school baseball, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Former West Lincoln High and Cherryville American Legion Post 100 standout Brett Eurey received first team All-Region 10 outfield honors on Wednesday as part of a record number of Catawba Valley Community College honorees. One of six team captains for the Red Hawks this season, Eurey finished his final season at CVCC […]

Tuesday’s roundup: Pro hockey, High school baseball, softball and track, College softball and baseball, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Bessemer City’s Savannah LaCount set Cleveland Community College history on Tuesday when she was named to the All-Region X team LaCount, a 2020 Bessemer City High graduate, is the first spring sports athlete at CCC to earn all-region honors. A pitcher, third baseman and outfielder, LaCount hit .229 with four home runs […]

Thursday’s roundup: High school football, baseball, soccer, softball and wrestling, College baseball, football, soccer and cross country

By Richard Walker Two local coaches and nine players have been invited to participate in the North Carolina Coaches’ Association East-West All-Star football game this summer. The contest, which began in 1949, will be held on July 21 at Greensboro Grimsley’s Jamieson Stadium this summer after the coronavirus cancelled the 2020 event. Local coaches for […]

Wednesday’s roundup: Pro baseball, College baseball, football and soccer, High school soccer, softball and baseball

By Richard Walker Former Burns High and Cherryville Legion Post 100 standout Christopher Proctor is one step away from the major leagues after being promoted to Class AAA Toledo on Wednesday. Proctor, a 2015 Burns High graduate, had been playing for the West Michigan Whitecaps of the High Class A Central League where he was […]

Tuesday’s roundup: College baseball, football and soccer, High school soccer, softball, golf, baseball and track, Middle schools

By Richard Walker West Lincoln High School won its first state title in girls golf behind balance as the Rebels beat Pine Lake Prep by a 10-shot margin in the Class 1A/2A state championships played at Pinehurst No. 8 on Tuesday. Other state champions were Freedom in Class 3A and Pfafftown Reagan in 4A. Leah […]

Gaston Braves made the most of their first state tournament appearance in 2014

By Richard Walker The Gaston Braves American Legion baseball team has been successful since it was born out of the combination of Belmont Post 144 and Stanley Post 266 in 1997. But the Braves’ greatest success came in the summer of 2014 when it advanced all the way to the N.C. state tournament championship game […]

Monday’s roundup: Legion baseball, High school football, golf, baseball, soccer and softball, College football, baseball and soccer, Middle school sports

By Richard Walker American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford announced Monday that The American Legion World Series will be played in Shelby this year. The eight-team championship tournament will be played Aug. 12-17 at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium and is returning after being cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. “As […]

Cherryville’s rebirth as a Legion power started in 1981 and 1982

By Richard Walker There’s little doubt American Legion baseball has been big in Cherryville since it started in 1937. But if you want to point to the teams that forever made Post 100 an annual power, look no further than Cherryville’s 1981 and 1982 teams. The 1981 team won a state title and the 1982 […]

Friday’s roundup: High school football, soccer and softball, College baseball, football and soccer

By Richard Walker One of the most stunning nights in Cleveland County history struck on Friday as all three teams lost in the high school playoff teams lost on the same night for the first time since 2009 – and third time in history (2002 was first time). Burns suffered the biggest heartbreaker as Salisbury […]

Gastonia has a long, successful Legion baseball history and it’s last state finals team added “Comeback Kids” to that story

By Richard Walker In the early days of American Legion baseball in North Carolina, Gastonia Post 23 was the program by which all others were measured. After all, Gastonia advanced to the state championship series 11 times from 1930 to 1956. The last time Post 23 advanced that far came in 1972 when a group […]

Wednesday’s roundup: Pro baseball, High school football, girls soccer, softball and baseball

By Richard Walker Sixteen North Carolina high school products are on major league rosters this season, including nine former American Legion products and among them are former South Point High and Gaston Braves Post 144-266 standout Jeffrey Springs. Springs, a 2011 South Point High graduate, is in his first season as a pitcher with the […]

Lincoln County Post 455’s American Legion baseball team enjoyed a special 2013 season

By Richard Walker The Lincoln County American Legion Post 455 baseball team has historically struggled. The team will enter the 2021 season with a 276-410 all-time record and one winning record in the last 12 seasons. But that season, 2013, was special indeed for the Cardinals of coach Bruce Bolick. Lincoln County made its only […]

Cherryville to host 2021 N.C. Legion state tournament and N.C. Area IV will have 16 teams this summer

By Richard Walker North Carolina American Legion baseball has long been big in the area and 2021 will be no different as top Legion officials make preparations for the new season after the coronavirus pandemic cancelled all games and tournaments in 2020. The pandemic did cause a shift of plans for the N.C. American Legion […]

Honey Hunters sign former North Gaston, N.C. State, major league pitching standout

By Richard Walker The Gastonia Honey Hunters have signed their first player for the upcoming season. And it’s a player with a local background. Former North Gaston High standout Jake Buchanan signed with team according to the team’s @gohoneyhunters twitter account release on Thursday morning. A 2007 North Gaston High graduate, Buchanan was also a […]

Cherryville dominated local area American Legion baseball in 1997 and 1998, advanced to Post 100’s first-ever ALWS title game

By Richard Walker Every summer, most American Legion fans expect Cherryville Post 100 to annually compete for top honors in the area, the state and possibly the nation. It wasn’t always that way. Before the 1997 season, Post 100 had won two state titles, five N.C. Area IV championships and eight regular season titles. In […]

George Wilson: Set area record for minor league service in addition to major league and overseas career that includes World Series title

By Richard Walker George Wilson may have had the most unique professional baseball career of anybody in the area. A 1942 Cherryville High graduate who played for Gastonia’s Post 23 1941 American Legion state championship team, Wilson set a local record for years of minor league service, won a major league World Series for the […]

Shelby’s 1957 and 1958 American Legion baseball success foreshadowed what would come to the city 50 years later

Most American Legion baseball fans think of Shelby these days as the home of the American Legion World Series. The Cleveland County city has hosted 10 of the last 12 ALWS starting with the 2008 event and has set attendance records virtually every year. Fifty years earlier, the seeds were planted for that future success […]

Elmore Hill was a pioneer in Gastonia and a minor league baseball star who made it to the majors as a hitting instructor

By Richard Walker Gastonia’s Elmore “Moe” Hill has been voted the greatest player in one of the country’s oldest professional baseball leagues. He’s also been considered one of the best hitting instructors in the sport. At home, he’s considered a pioneer as he and teammate Willie Gillispie became the first African-American to play American Legion […]

N.C. state American Legion baseball tournament didn’t start until 2000 but it’s had lots of history and future MLB stars

By Richard Walker The N.C. American Legion state tournament only began in 2000 but has seen all sorts of drama, history and spectacular performances. That includes a 2006 state final featuring two future major leaguers – Morehead City’s Lonnie Chisenhall and Caldwell County’s Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner would later turn in one of the best pitching […]

Bessemer City Post 243: Program’s best days came in late 1980s after it combined with Kings Mountain

By Richard Walker Bessemer City American Legion Post 243 fielded 27 teams from 1946 to 1996. Due to one of the smallest areas from which to draw its players, it suffered through predictable struggles. But Post 243 did enjoy success in two seasons in the late 1980s when it paired championship-winning Bessemer City High players […]

Baseball revolutionary: Stanley’s Ted Abernathy became one of the major leagues’ first “relief aces”

By Richard Walker Anyone who watches baseball these days knows that relief pitching is a key part to the game. It wasn’t that way in the 1960s until Stanley’s Ted Abernathy unwittingly became a baseball revolutionary by being one of the first players to perfect the art of relief pitching. A 1951 Stanley High graduate, […]

Stanley Post 266 had American Legion baseball for 16 years and was Area IV’s most dominant team in the late 1980s

By Richard Walker Stanley American Legion Post 266 played only 16 seasons in North Carolina’s Area IV. Born in 1981, Stanley eventually combined with Belmont Post 144 to form the Gaston Braves in 1997. But in the late 1980s, there was no greater power in Area IV than Post 266, which in three straight seasons […]

How big is American Legion baseball in our area? Cleveland and Gaston counties have hosted 33 Legion national tournaments

By Richard Walker As anyone who lives in the area knows, American Legion baseball has made its World Series home in Shelby. But even before Shelby became the permanent host to Legion’s signature event, this region has been a frequent host to national tournaments – and that started 90 years ago in Gastonia. Gastonia became […]

N.C. Legion state tournament will be coming to Cleveland County in 2021

By Richard Walker Kings Mountain High School’s Lancaster Field is set to become a first-time host of the North Carolina American Legion championship tournament The facility was granted the 2020 tournament before the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled all Legion tournaments locally, regionally and nationally. And the 2021 event is based on COVID-19 conditions and has to […]

In 2021, Gastonia will add to a rich pro baseball history that includes 131 future or former major leaguers and 3 eventual Hall of Famers

By Richard Walker When Gastonia begins its first Atlantic Coast League baseball season in May it’ll be a back to the future moment for the city that hasn’t been home to a professional baseball team since 1995. Gastonia professional teams have had 131 future or former major leaguers, including National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees […]

When Mount Holly-Paw Creek and Kings Mountain met in 1959 Area 4 Legion final, it was historic for both teams

By Richard Walker Mount Holly American Legion Post 152 hasn’t been involved in the sponsorship of a baseball team since 1971. Kings Mountain Post 155 decided to combine forces with Shelby Post 82 to form a Cleveland County post two summers ago. But in the summer of 1959, arguably the best teams Mount Holly and […]

Former Pineville Post 337, Charlotte Christian pitcher gets top major league award

By Richard Walker Former Pineville American Legion Post 337 pitcher Daniel Bard was honored with a top major league baseball award on Thursday. Bard, a 2003 Charlotte Christian graduate, was named National League Comeback Player of the Year. Bard, 35, returned to the major leagues for the first time since 2013 with the Colorado Rockies […]

Belmont Post 144’s baseball history was successful but star-crossed

By Richard Walker Belmont Post 144 singularly sponsored American Legion baseball teams for 48 years from 1933 to 1996. It won four regular season titles and advanced to the area finals four times. Post had a 470-511-3 overall record in a history that was a bit star-crossed. Much of that had to do with the […]

Remembering when Sims Legion Park was the hottest ticket in town as Gastonia Post 23 nearly won a second ALWS

By Richard Walker Ten teams have won more than one American Legion World Series. Gastonia was painfully close to making it 11 in 1954 in what has proved to be the last year Post 23 won a state title. It came during a summer when fans packed Gastonia’s Sims Legion Park night after night – […]

Cherryville has become one of the state’s top American Legion baseball programs. The foundation for that success was built in 1953

By Richard Walker With seven state titles in history, many think Cherryville Post 100 has always been an American Legion baseball power. It just seems that way, but it all started with the magical summer of 1953. That season, a first-year coach more known for his time at Gardner-Webb took over a program that had […]

American Legion baseball started locally in 1929 and has produced wins, championships and fans ever since

By Richard Walker Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties have never ranked ranked near the top of the North Carolina population. But they do have arguably the most interest in American Legion baseball as 12 local posts have sponsored teams over the years and won more than 100 championships including two American Legion World Series titles. […]

Who is the area’s best baseball player? A case can be made for the “Rock Springs Rifle”

By Richard Walker Any longtime baseball observer will tell you there’s nothing like the buzz that’s created when major league scouts pack a high school stadium to watch a hard-throwing pitcher. In the late 1950s in Lincoln County, that was every game that eventual major leaguer Tony Cloninger – nicknamed the “Rock Springs Rifle” – […]

Shelby is now permanent home to ALWS but Legion baseball took hold first time in summer of 1942

By Richard Walker Whenever you visit Cleveland County these days, you are greeted by signs proclaiming it as the home of the American Legion World Series at Shelby’s Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium. The permanent host of the ALWS since 2011, while Legion baseball started in Shelby in 1931, the community’s embrace of Legion baseball […]

Before Gastonia Post 23 became the state’s first baseball power, it had to win its first title

By Richard Walker Longtime North Carolina American Legion baseball fans know that Gastonia Post 23 was the state’s first power. That started in just the second year Gastonia sponsored a team of 1930. It started a stretch of five titles in nine years and nine titles in 25 years.     How dominant was the […]

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager sets history in two ways Tuesday night

By Richard Walker Former Kannapolis Post 115 standout Corey Seager set history in two ways during Tuesday’s Los Angeles Dodgers World Series victory. Seager, who played for Post 115 from 2010 to 2012, became North Carolina’s 18th American Legion alumnus to win a World Series title when he and the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay 3-1 […]