Beaufort Ospreys forfeit 1st-round American Legion baseball playoff series

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comJuly 7, 2014 

Beaufort baseball player Alex Tokar juggles some baseballs as teammates react to a lightning strike during a weather delay in an American Legion game against Goose Creek at Beaufort High School on June 26, 2014.

THEOPHIL SYSLO — Theophil Syslo Buy Photo

Familiar issues led to an early end to the Beaufort Ospreys' season.

Post 9/207 forfeited its first round American Legion baseball playoff series with Manning this week after coach Mike Smith could not receive enough commitments from his players to compete throughout the best-of-five series.

Several of the Ospreys play for travel teams on the weekends. Smith said he circulated a letter to players and parents asking whether they would be able to play the full series, explaining a Legion rule that travel ball was not allowed during the playoffs and asking players to suspend their travel schedule until the end of the playoffs.

Smith said several players told him they had plans to play this weekend, enough for Smith to forfeit the series. The Ospreys finished 11-3.

"I basically could not afford to lose people," said Smith, whose son, Thomas, was an Ospreys' pitcher. "The handwriting was on the wall. It takes a lot to put on a game, much less a five-game series. And traveling and field work and juggling our day jobs with trying to get other stuff done, it was just for the best in our case to drop out, which I didn't want to do but felt like we had to."

Smith said this would be his final season coaching the Ospreys, after five years with the Legion program, including the junior team.

He said he would be willing to help the next coach assemble the program next summer. Smith suggested the new coach talk with the area's high school baseball coaches to try and encourage more players to participate.

League 1, which included only three teams this year, might have to schedule games throughout the week to compete with travel teams in the future like some other programs in the state, Smith said.

"It is good baseball," he said.

Follow assistant sports editor Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.

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