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Williamsburg Post 39’s American Legion season continued under rainy conditions Thursday evening at Warhill High’s baseball stadium.
Despite the dreary conditions, Williamsburg (3-0) managed to overcome five fielding errors to hang on for a 6-5 win against Poquoson Post 273, marking the program’s 33rd consecutive district victory.
It’s a streak Williamsburg head coach Tom Richardson expects to continue this season, especially with an embarrassment of riches in his pitching staff.
Leading the pitching staff for Williamsburg is Ferrum College freshman Blake Otey, a Warhill graduate. Otey threw 10 innings as a freshman for Ferrum, but is a hard-throwing right-hander who should come in and overpower younger hitters.
A pair of Jamestown pitchers – Kent Klyman and Corey Williams – back up Otey in the pitching rotation. Klyman is an North Carolina State baseball recruit, while Williams is committed to play baseball for Christopher Newport University.
Rounding out the pitching rotation is Bruton’s Tyler Floyd, an Averett University commit. Jamestown’s Ryan Mason, a Bridgewater College commit, is making the transition into the closing role for Williamsburg.
So stout is the Williamsburg pitching staff, the team can afford to have Jamestown’s Sean Hughes, a Boston College pitching commit, play third base throughout the season at the request of Boston College to give his arm some rest heading into his first collegiate season.
Offensively, Williamsburg Post 39 will be led by Jamestown’s Roger Romero, who played infield for the Eagles but will switch to his natural position of catcher for Williamsburg.
“He’s become our leader behind the plate,” Richardson said.
The starting outfield for Williamsburg is well-rounded both offensively and defensively, with Richardon saying this year’s outfield is “as good as we’ve ever been.”
Jamestown’s Chris Jones, Warhill’s Robert Lipford and Bruton’s Zach Calloway all possess the quickness to chase down balls on defense and the consistency to drive Richardson’s small-ball oriented lineup.
The big concern for Williamsburg Post 39 will be getting the team’s chemistry in check with 13 new players on this year’s team.
“We have five teams we pick from, but these are five teams that were hating each other two weeks ago,” Richardson said. “To now get along, that’s the biggest challenge. Hopefully in the end it works out.”
If Williamsburg’s potential chemistry woes are held in check, the team could be lifted to its fourth consecutive district title behind a potent pitching rotation and speedy offense.