GREENVILLE – Greenville has some of the area’s best baseball coming to Sater Park this spring and summer showcasing some the county’s best high school players as well as surrounding county schools.
With the cancellation of the 2020 American Legion Baseball program as well as ACME, Greenville American Legion Post 140 coach Chad Henry and his staff are working hard to put together two excellent baseball teams with 18U and 16U teams playing a solid schedule.
“Instead of Junior Legion and Senior Legion we are just going by Greenville Thunder this year,” said Henry. “Obviously we are still playing with the same morals, the same ethics as American Legion Baseball – that is what we are founded upon.”
“Three years ago I had five kids tryout for this program, the last two we have had over 40,” continued Henry. “I still have three of those kid left – I couldn’t bear them playing their last game last July so we just stayed flexible. If the Governor said we could play a double header at the end of July … we would play a double header at the end of July so we were going to do something.”
Most of the competition at Sater Park will look like American Legion teams from surrounding counties only with a different name for the 2020 season.
“We will be out here playing against a lot of the same teams,” Henry noted. “We have teams all over the place.”
Currently the 18U team has 47 games on the schedule and 30 games scheduled for the 16U with about 30 of the games slated for Greenville’s Sater Park.
“A lot of teams don’t have fields,” Henry noted. “Greenville is a popular place because of that. There will be a lot of baseball here in Greenville for people to watch.”
A typical Post 140 season has the local 18U team playing a minimum 60 game schedule with a set number assigned to the roster. 2020 will see an expanded roster to accommodate a later start to the season.
“We kept some extra players this year so we have a big roster but by having that the kids can still go out – they’re going to have basketball things coming up, they’re going to have football things coming up,” said Henry. “Everyone is going to wrestle these kids to play their sport and we want to be flexible and allow them to do that.”
“We have plenty of games,” Henry added. “The players will communicate with us and that way we can get everybody innings and at bats.”
Due to the Coronavirus the team will not be taking overnight trips as has been the practice in the past.
“We wanted to cutout overnights and we wanted to keep everything somewhat close and following the Governor’s orders,” shared Henry. “It’s been a handful but we have 35 kids out here that are pretty excited to play baseball.”
Coach Henry took time to address the COVID-19 situation.
“We have been following the protocol with our players,” said Coach Henry. “We take temperatures going in, we sanitize in and we sanitize out. We are not sharing equipment and those kinds of things. There are a lot of precautions, but we are meeting them.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Tyler Beyke gets work on the mound throwing batting practice a recent Greenville Thunder practice. (Gaylen Blosser photo)