Some changes as 2018 American Legion Baseball Post 7 season begins

By Thomas Grant Jr. 
New league and region, same goals for Lexington Post 7 in American Legion baseball.
Along with reducing the number of innings played from nine to seven at the orders of the national office, the state American Legion office has separated Lexington from longtime rivals Chapin/Newberry Post 193 and West Columbia Post 79.
It has moved Post 7 to League 4, Region 2 with Sumter Post 15, Dalzell/Shaw Post 175, Manning Post 68, Hartsville Post 53, Orangeburg Post 4 and Camden Post 17.
Sumter has eliminated Lexington from the post-season two years in a row. Nevertheless, reaching Sumter for the state American Legion tournament head coach Michael Riefsynder remains his top focus regardless of the opponent standing in the way.
“We feel like last year, we ran out of pitching,” he said. “So, we went out and recruited pitching this year and feel like that we’ve made big strides there and I think our chances are good. I feel like we’ve got a chance to win the state and move on.”
Lexington will still face its longtime rivals, starting with the season-opener at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Lexington County Ballfield against Chapin/Newberry.
Riefsynder has brought in several players from both Lexington and River Bluff high schools to fill that void.  Jonathan Howlett, Ryan DiRienzo, Chase Crouch, Nathan Roof, all of Lexington, Alex Jacobs (USC-Beaufort, formerly of Lexington High School), Jackson Hannon, Will Lott and Braeden Marzitelli (both of whom are moving up from the junior program), all of River Bluff, are all battle-tested and are expected to aid in team depth.
Another newcomer is Cameron Peterson of Batesburg-Leesville.
Post 7 returns 10 players from last year’s 13-8 squad that placed second behind Chapin/Newberry. This includes Team captain Walker McDowell, a graduate of River Bluff and currently attending USC-Lancaster, Cole LeMacks, Cameron Cribb, Austin Muse, all of Lexington High, Dalton Lansdowne of Newberry College and Jac Crouch, Spencer Wood and Jay Beebe, all of Gray Collegiate.

2018 LEXINGTON POST 7 SCHEDULE

(All Games start at 7:30 p.m.)
THURSDAY – CHAPIN/NEWBERRY
FRIDAY – at Chapin/Newberry
MONDAY – WEST COLUMBIA
WEDNESDAY – DALZELL/SHAW
MAY 31 – at Dalzell/Shaw
JUNE 4 – AIKEN
JUNE 7 – at Aiken
JUNE 8 – at West Columbia
JUNE 11 – CAMDEN
JUNE 12 – at Camden
JUNE 14 – HARTSVILLE
JUNE 15 – at Hartsville
JUNE 19 – ORANGEBURG
JUNE 20 – at Orangeburg
JUNE 22 – at Waccamaw
JUNE 23-24 – at Ottowa/Oldham
JUNE 27 – MANNING
JUNE 28 – at Manning
JULY 2 – SUMTER
July 3 – at Sumter

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