The 2018 State Championship Tournament begins Saturday, July 21 and will be hosted by Stahl Post 30 at Wilson Field in New Castle.
On Saturday, the 2018 Delaware American Legion State Tournament will begin a five-day playoff to crown a champion which will advance to the Mid-Atlantic Regional.
In late June, the Delaware American Legion Committee decided to expand the playoff field for 2018, increasing the amount of teams that make the tournament from six to eight. At the end of the season, the top seeds from the Delaware North and Delaware South Divisions will secure spots, along with the top six seeds remaining based on league play.
“We looked at the schedule and regardless if we play a six or eight team tournament, it would still take five days,” said State Chairman Roy Lamberton. “In addition, the top two seeds would not play a game until Monday of the tournament.”
While the playoff field has been expanded by two teams, the top two seeds will get first-day byes and with more teams involved, Delaware American Legion has a better chance of making sure the very best Legion team from Delaware represents the state.
“We decided under the new seven innings game format, we could play the entire tournament on one field and all eight teams would be in action during the first two days of the event,” Lamberton said. “The idea is to send our best team to the Mid-Atlantic Regional and that requires a team to play at least five games.”
So far, the top two seeds within Delaware American Legion Baseball are Delaware Post 1 and Canal Post 25.
Delaware Post 1 has been frontrunning in the Delaware North Division all season long. At the start of this week Post 1 has a remarkable 17-1 record, having won nine-straight games.
Led by an impressive group of bats, including Nate Thomas, Jack Dubecq, Ryan Williams, Marshall Awtry, Jacob Meisel and Tim Glavin, Post 1 has scored the most runs this season among the 10-team league along with posting the best run differential in the league, outscoring opponents 148-58 this season. The next closest in runs-for this season are the Post 10 Generals who have scored 17 less runs than Post 1.
Also, backed by a deep pitching staff which includes J.T. Tomovich, Austin Colmery, Ryan Bradigan and Dubecq, they’ve allowed the second-lowest run total in the state behind only Fox Post 2 who have allowed just 51 runs against this season, though, Post 2 has played four less games.
Delaware Post 1 will undoubtedly clinch the Delaware North Division as Post 10 is the only other team in the division with a winning record and still sits seven wins behind Post 1 heading into the final week of regular season play.
In the Delaware South, Canal Post 25 has battled with Fox Post 2 atop the division the majority of the season.
Entering the final week of the regular season, Post 25 leads the division having played four more games than Fox Post 2. Also, Post 25 won the season series against Fox Post 2, winning two of their three meetings, including a 6-5 win last week.
Led by Joey Lungen, Mason Keene, Alex Weber, Jack McDermott and John Weglarz at the plate, Canal Post has outscored opponents 108-72.
Meanwhile, a young but talented pitching staff including Garrett Alexander, Andrew Smith and Nick Dorazio has come into their own down the stretch where Post 25 has won seven of their last 10 games.
With four games in hand, Fox Post 2 is still within striking distance for the Delaware South Division.
Sitting at 9-5 through 14 games, Fox Post 2 sits just three wins behind division leader Canal Post 25.
With eight games remaining, Fox Post 2 has put up impressive numbers. Only Delaware Post 1 has scored more runs than Fox Post 2 this season. With 108 runs scored, Fox Post ranks second in that category statewide, tied with Canal Post 25 even though they’ve played four less games than both Post 25 and Post 1.
Evan Harris, Mikey Carrington, Dylan Jacobs, Joey Wunsch, Dominic Velasquez, Kyle Comegys, Tommy Pomatto, Brandon Hatch and Miguel Rivera have all paced the Fox Post 2 effort throughout the year, at the plate and on the mound.
Despite being two games under .500, the Nanticoke Post 6 Patriots are very much in the playoff Conversation.
Entering the week, Post 6 was third in the highly competitive Delaware South Division. At 8-10 overall with four games remaining, Post 6 is tied for fourth overall with Stahl Post 30.
Down the stretch, Post 6 will have to battle for one of the last playoff spots with not only Stahl Post 30, but also DelVets. Both Post 30 and DelVets have 21 points, three behind Post 6. Both teams have games in hand over Post 6.
After losing seven of their first nine games, Post 6 has been playing much better baseball as the season winds down. Heading into the final week, Post 6 has won five of their last eight, including three wins in a row, two over Stahl Post and one over Canal Post.
Much of the turnaround has come from improved play at the plate and on the mound.
Vonnie Toppin, Matt Warrington, Justin Gray, D.J. Allen, Noah Covington and Mitch Moyer have all produced with the bat, while a solid pitching staff made up of Toppin, Warrington, Dylan Layton, and Dylan Nibblett have been able to shut down opposing offenses.