Islanders eye playoffs

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Look to host District tourney this weekend

By Mike Forster


They'll get a breather.  Then things will really heat up for the American Legion Post 217 Big Island baseball crew.

Coming off a week in which they played six games, the Islanders will head for the post-season, ready or not.

The good news?  Big Island will host the District 10 tournament this weekend at Jim Thacker Field, at Forest Middle School.

"We've been to Danville and we've been to Brookville," said Head Coach Kelley Russell.  "It's time to play on our home field."

The tourney field will be on the smallish side, with the Islanders being joined by Lynchburg and Danville.

Despite its 7-7 record, Big Island enters the fray as the #3 seed.  As such, it will open play on Saturday, at 3:00 p.m. against the #2 seed.  Danville and Lynchburg play Wednesday, which will determine which is the top dog and which will face Big Island in that Saturday matinee.

The winner of the first game will face the #1 seed Saturday evening, 7:00.

On Sunday, the two losers will face-off in an elimination game at 4:30.  The title games will be held on Sunday night, 7:30, with a second game on Monday (7:00 p.m.) if needed.


Catching up

The team has been hit by both the injury bug and the beach bug during the regular season, causing Russell to mix and match his remaining staff as best he can.

For example, the crew headed to Ferrum on Monday night to face Rocky Mount with only a dozen players in tow.

Not to worry.  Tre Allison, who has become one of the most reliable and steady pitchers on the staff, gave Russell six quality innings.

Meanwhile, mighty Cam Byrd mauled a first-inning double, which highlighted a five-run stanza.

Cal Hodgert, who has lately been seeing time at third (rather than shortstop) also had a key hit in the first.

Nelson Carroll, who has also been helping cover catching duties, helped out in relief.  But Daniel Scott picked up the save.  The Staunton River standout faced a ninth-inning situation which featured runners on second and third with one out.

He coaxed a pop-out before punching out the final Rocky Mount batter on three straight strikes.