A living tradition
Caldwell County baseball is much more than just a sport, it's a tradition. Friday night's game between the current Post 29 team and the Post 29 alumni team proved just that.
"I have a lot of fond memories with these players on this field," said Post 29 head coach Myron Day. "They are all great guys and very talented players. The alumni game in growing, the tradition is growing and it will only continue to grow."
This year's alumni team was stacked with college and professional talent, and it showed after the alumni took a 12-9 victory over the current 29ers. The win was highlighted by Jon Gray's towering two-run home run in the top of the seventh. Gray finished with three hits to lead the alumni. Blake Johnson hit a two-run single and AJ Watson added an RBI single. David Martin also hit a triple for the alumni.
While the team's do play to win a baseball game, winning the game wasn't nearly as important as showcasing a tradition and the camaraderie that come with Post 29 baseball. Current Army Ranger Jacob Hatton is home for Memorial Day weekend and just found out about the game on Friday morning.
"I just love seeing the camaraderie that's been built here over the years," Hatton said. "It's great to come back and see all these guys, and everyone playing hard. I just love it."
Zach Merriken was one of the oldest members of this year's alumni squad. Merriken was a 29er back in 2006 and 2007.
"It's bittersweet to some back and play here," said Merriken. "It brings back a lot of memories and it's good to see these guys. The tradition of Post 29 baseball just keeps growing."
For the current 29ers, Trevor Beane had two hits, including an RBI single. Taylor Purus hit a two-run single and had an RBI sacrifice fly out. Taylor Powell, Hunter Church, Ryder Martin and Grayam Austin also had hits for Post 29.
"I thought our guys showed a lot of potential against some good pitching and our pitchers threw well against some good hitting," Day said. "The important thing was to have fun and I think everybody did. Caldwell County has the best fans and we appreciate all the support."
Post 29 will play its first Area IV West game tonight at Henderson County Post 77. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.