Keeping tradition alive
In Caldwell County, baseball isn’t just a sport; it’s a tradition. Post 29 showcased that tradition with an alumni game on Thursday night.
“The tradition here is one they don’t have everywhere,” said Post 29 head coach Brandon Banks. “In Caldwell County we have guys that come back here all the time. It’s good for our program and our team. I love and appreciate every one of them.”
Jon Gray hit three home runs for the alumni team to lead the former 29ers in an 8-2 victory over the current Post 29 squad at M.S. Deal Stadium in Granite Falls. Gray accumulated five RBIs with the home runs.
The current 29ers got on the board in the first inning. Nick Horning led off with a single and Trevor Beane reached on an error. After Zac Walker walked to load the bases, AJ Watson grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Horning and give Caldwell an early 1-0 advantage.
In the top of the fourth, Gray hit his first of three home runs with a two-run shot to left field to give the alumni a 2-1 lead. Dalton Hall was on base after reaching on a single. The alumni added five more runs in the sixth inning. Jake Macchia reached on a bunt single before stealing second and third. Joel Woods drove him in with an RBI single to right. This brought up Gray to hit his second, two-run homer of the game.
Later in the sixth inning, Zac Greer reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second. He then scored on an RBI single by Josh Murphy. Murphy would score on an RBI single by David Martin to give the alumni a 7-1 lead.
Post 29 scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth on a towering home run to center field by Drew Bolick. Gray countered Bolick in the eighth inning with his third home run of the game to give the alumni the 8-2 victory.
Other former 29ers that played in the game were Bryson Bowman, Ethan Turner, David “Bubba” Evans, Austin Beard, Logan Alley, Spencer Greer, Bryon Tuttle, Tyler Bumgarner, Jake Watts and Aaron Bentley. Post 29 head coach Brandon Banks also pitched the first inning of the game for the alumni.
“A game like this is a lot of fun for everybody,” Banks said. “Most of the guys playing are from the past few years. We really appreciate them coming out.”
Post 29 will return to action with a home game against Burke County on Saturday at M.S. Deal Stadium at 7 p.m.