Plenty of new faces on the diamond for Post 22
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The American Legion baseball season is underway in Rapid City and one thing is clear, Post 22 will experience its fair share of challenges this summer.
A year ago, Post 22 finished with a 33-27 record and lost to Sioux Falls East in the semi-finals of the state tournament.
This year, the Hardhats are 3-5 on the season after recently winning two out of four games in Billings, Montana.
The Hardhats return a handful of key players including Peyton Tipton, Jacob Solano, Harrison Good, Wyatt Anderson and Ryker Henne.
But overall, head coach Kelvin Torve said the best way to describe this year’s team is young.
“Other than that, there’s guys that really don’t have a lot of varsity time,” said Kelvin Torve. “So there’s going to be a painful breaking in process. But we’ve been working hard since March 22nd. It’s been fun so far. We’ve got good chemistry in the clubhouse. These guys work hard and they know what’s ahead of them and I think they’re equal to the task.”
Post 22 lost a few starting pitchers from last season.
So the Hardhats will rely on several younger players to help fill those shoes this year.
“We lost Jake Goble, Bransen Kuehl and Hunter Tillery,” said Torve. “All of them are playing in college. So that’s the big deal. Half of our pitching staff is 16-years-old. So they’re going to have to grow up quickly. We have some pitchers that play positions, as well. So we’re going to try to cobble together a starting rotation and cobble together the bullpen. It’s a working process and it may take most of the year but I think we’ll get there.”
Post 22 will host the Central Plains Regional Tournament which will take August 3-7 at the Black Hills Surgical Ballpark.
Since the Hardhats are the host team, they earn an automatic berth in the tournament.
The winner of the Central Plains Regional Tournament qualifies for the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina.