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Tournament Time

Pitt County and Caldwell County are the teams to beat.
Cherryville has its rich tradition, the home-field advantage and the ghosts of Fraley Field.
Lexington is in the Legion spotlight for the first time since 1948.
Eastern Randolph returns to a ballpark that holds disappointing memories.
Shelby has home run hitters galore and controversial coach Mike Grayson.
Scotland County wants to change its luck in state tournaments.
And Morehead City is just glad to be here.
Those are the teams in the mix for the N.C. State American Legion baseball tournament that unfolds Friday through next Tuesday at Cherryville’s Fraley Field.
To help readers familiarize themselves with the teams, the schedule and the facilities, here is a guide to the tournament:

Tournament info
Site: Fraley Field, Cherryville.
Tickets: $25 for an all-tournament pass, $6 per session.
Parking: First Baptist Church parking lot on First Street and First Methodist Church parking lot on Pink Street. North Pink Street will be blocked off from First Street to Church Street for the entire tournament.
Concessions: Several food booths will be in operation selling a variety of refreshments.
Special events: Pre-tournament banquet is Thursday at the First Baptist Church Outreach Center. Tickets are $20. Call the Post 100 headquarters at 704-435-3794 for ticket information. The banquet guest speaker is UNC-Chapel Hill head baseball coach Mike Fox.
Broadcast schedule: All games will be broadcast on WLON-1050 AM Lincolnton and WCSL 1590 AM Cherryville. Announcers are Richard Howell, Milton Baker, David Keever, Mike Powell and Tim Biggerstaff.
Team headquarters: Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield Inn, Gastonia.
Practice facility: Sims Legion Park, Gastonia.
Press box crew: Danny Eaker (PA), Judie Eaker (music), Darise Hartman and Troy Thomas (scoreboard operation).

Team facts
Team: Morehead City
Post number: 46
Record: 22-7.
How they got here: Area Two runner-up.
History: This is Morehead City’s deepest advancement in its Legion baseball history.

Team: Pitt County
Post number: 39
Record: 24-4.
How they got here: Area One champion.
History: Pitt has never won a state title, but has eight Area One titles to its credit. Pitt lost a seven-game series to Cherryville for the state championship in 1998.

Team: Scotland County
Post number: 50.
Record: 21-7.
How they got here: Area Two champion.
History: Scotland is 0-4 in two state tournament appearances in 2001 and 2004. Scotland was state runner-up three times, the last time in 1993.

Team: Eastern Randolph.
Post number: 81
Record: 24-16.
How they got here: Area Three runner-up.
History: Eastern Randolph is making its second state title appearance in three years. The team won Area Three championships in 1981 and 1999, but lost both years to Cherryville in the state semifinals.

Team: Shelby.
Post number: 82.
Record: 33-14.
How they got here: Area Four runner-up.
History: Shelby has won six state titles, the last time in 2001. The program also claims seven Area Four titles and won the national championship in 1945. One of the winningest teams in state Legion history, Shelby has 1,042 wins going into the tournament.

Team: Lexington
Post number: 8.
Record: 22-14.
How they got here: Area Three champion.
History: This is only the second area title in Lexington’s history, and the first one since 1948. The team has never won a state title.

Team: Caldwell County.
Post number: 29.
Record: 33-6.
How they got here: Area Four champion.
History: Caldwell County has won four state championships, the last one coming in 2000. The team also claims six Area Four titles, including the last two. Caldwell had a runner-up finish in the 1990 Southeast Regionals at Cherryville.

Team: Cherryville.
Post number: 100.
How they got here: Automatic qualifier as the host team.
History: Cherryville has won five state championships and 10 Area Four titles. The team has made made three appearances in the Little World Series (1953, 1998 and 2003) and was national runner-up in 1998 and 2003. In addition, Cherryville was state runner-up in 1960, 1982 and 1999.

Players to watch
Shelby: Josh Drewery (.401, 17 HR and 58 RBI, ), Dusty Quattlebaum (.316, 15 HR, 41 RBI), O.J. McFarland (.385, 6 HR and 34 RBI).
Lexington: Pitcher Andrew Morton (lefthander, 11-0 with a 3.31 ERA), outfielder Tyler McKenzie (cleanup hitter, four homers, 31 RBI, great arm in left field).
Cherryville: Shortstop Dylan Anthony (.407), first baseman Chris Cook (.396), outfielder Daniel Scronce (.393), second baseman Paul Finger (.360), outfielder Steven Hoyle (.318, five homers), pitcher Wayne McDonald (6-1).
Caldwell County: Pitcher Alex Fairweather (lefthander and ace of staff), pitcher-infielder Russell Reid, second baseman Casey Justice, catcher Brandon York.
Pitt County: Pitcher/first baseman Alex White (recruited by ACC schools), pitcher Derrick Bullock (signed with Wake Forest).

by Mike Powell

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