2013 American Legion Baseball Preview: Bevy of pitchers key for Beaufort Ospreys

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comMay 21, 2013 

Mike Smith might not mind if his pitchers get knocked around some this summer, as long as they go after hitters.

The Beaufort Ospreys coach wants strikes. He wants the ball in play. And if a pitcher isn't delivering, he might get swapped in a hurry.

"A walk is a rally starter," Smith said. "We want to make the other teams earn their way on base. You make them hit to get on. You don't put them on with a free pass."

The boys representing American Legion Post 9/207 kick off summer by hosting the Lowcountry Heat tonight at 7 p.m. at Beaufort High School. The nine-inning format strains pitching more than the high school schedule, and so Smith plans to need all of his arms, regardless of performance.

Former Battery Creek High School pitcher Shane Dixon and former Beaufort High pitcher Austin Willis-Greene will help anchor the rotation. After that, anyone could take the mound.

Side-armer Mattison Pike is new to the senior Ospreys and will provide relief. Beaufort High's David Tilton, who just finished his final season for the Eagles, provides another arm and will play third base.

"There will be others I'll throw out there on a moment's notice, too," Smith said. "I just have to keep them all ready."

The Ospreys suffered through doubleheaders all of last summer in an effort to save on expenses like gasoline. The team is back to its previous schedule format, hosting each team twice and traveling twice.

The rival Heat visit Beaufort for the first two meetings before the Ospreys go south of the Broad.

Beaufort High is again heavily represented. Dixon and former Battery Creek teammates Thomas Smith, Zach Mahan and Mike Jennings are the only Dolphins on the 17-man roster.

"I think we've got a good mixture of returning players, as well as some new younger guys who can come in and help us, too," Smith said.

Beaufort prepped for the season with a scrimmage this past week at Orangeburg. Smith used the opportunity to try out several pitchers.

He expects complete games to be rare, even with a solid performance and the quick pace produced by the recently limited bat structure.

"We do have a good group of arms out there that will help us," Smith said. "But it's easy to say that. You've got to go out there and perform and make it happen on the field."

2013 Beaufort Ospreys schedule

Home games in CAPS

Game time is 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted

May 21 LOWCOUNTRY HEAT

May 23 at Orangeburg

May 24 JAMES ISLAND

May 27 at Moncks Corner

May 28 GOOSE CREEK

May 30 at James Island

June 3 at Goose Creek

June 8 Alumni game, 6 p.m.

June 11 JAMES ISLAND

June 13 LOWCOUNTRY HEAT

June 18 at Moncks Corner

June 19 at Lowcountry Heat

June 20 GOOSE CREEK

June 24 at James Island

June 25 at Lowcountry Heat

June 26 MONCKS CORNER

July 1 MONCKS CORNER

July 3 at Goose Creek

Beaufort Ospreys

No. Name Pos.

19 Stephen Baggett OF/P

7 Jordan Clegg OF/2B

17 Shane Dixon P

12 Alex Hill P/OF

1 Mike Jennings OF

9 Andrew Jezewski C

16 Zach Mahan P/3B

11 Mattison Pike 1B/P

14 Jesse Sanborn 2B/P

8 Alex Silon 2B

6 Thomas Smith SS/P

30 Andy Smyth 3B/P

2 Chris Tealey OF/P

5 Matt Thorpe OF/1B

18 David Tilton 3B/P

3 Lee Truong INF

4 Austin Willis-Greene P/C

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service