Stevensville to host Legion baseball state tourney

Caleb Schmitt makes a running catch for Stevensville Post 568 during a game against Three Oaks Post 204 on July 2 at Lakeshore High School.

Stevensville Post 568 will have home advantage for this weekend’s American Legion Class AA state baseball tournament.

Stevensville is hosting the tournament at Lakeshore High School, which begins Thursday and will end either Saturday or Sunday.

“It is really exciting to not have to travel for the state tournament,” Stevensville manager Jeff Bradford said. “On the flip side, it’s a lot of work to put this on.”

Stevensville will play its first game in the six-team, double-elimination tournament at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner of a matchup earlier in the day between Bay City Post 18 and Blissfield Post 325.

On the other side of the bracket, Allen Park Post 409 has a bye and will play either Gladwin County Post 171 or Chief Pontiac Baseball Club.

“Any one of these six teams in the tournament has a chance to win it,” Bradford said.

The tournament could conclude with Saturday’s 1 p.m. game. If the team that advanced from the loser’s bracket wins, they’ll force a final game at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Stevensville had an automatic berth into the state tournament as the host, but still won this past weekend’s zone tournament at River Valley, beating Blissfield 4-0 and Adrian 3-0.

Jonah Sibley, who will play at Lake Michigan College next season, threw a two-hitter against Adrian. Lakeshore’s Jaidyn Morris tossed the shutout against Blissfield.

“It was a good weekend of baseball,” Bradford said. “The boys threw strikes and played good defense.

“I’ve got confidence in our starters and the depth of our bullpen.”

Post 568 also has Garrett Matthews (Watervliet) and Caleb Schmidt (Paw Paw) on its pitching staff.

Stevensville’s top two hitters will both play at LMC next season. Devin Pulling is hitting .465, and Lakeshore graduate Cam Dalrymple bats .346. Other top hitters include Edwardsburg’ Austin Hurt (.342), St. Joseph’s Kaleb Parrett (.339) and Watervliet’s Jakob Aldrich (.333).

As a team, Stevensville is batting .298.

“I have confidence in our offense to score a few runs,” Bradford said.

Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders