Congratulations are in order for the Smith Post baseball team, after its run in the local Division 5 playoffs and its final game appearance in the New York State American Legion championships.
Although the team came up just short of its fourth American Legion baseball state title last week, falling 13-9 in the title contest to Hamburg, the players and coaches deserve a round of applause for making it that far.
With a group of core leadership from Riley Brawdy, Damon Campanaro, Kyle Williamson and Evan DeLutis, and timely hitting and stout play from the rest of the team, the Smith Post squad was able to claim the District 5 title with a “survive and advance” run past the regular season winners, Whitestown Post, before eliminating the Whitestown players in the championship game of the local tournament.
Like its local run, just about everyone on the Smith roster played a hand in getting the squad to the championship game against Hamburg, once again with the Rome-based team finding its way through the last games of the loser’s bracket to the championship contest.
Brawdy collected the Big Stick Award for the tournament for his offensive numbers. In five games he had 10 hits including two doubles, three triples and a home run, with nine runs scored and five RBIs.
Likewise, the rest of the squad performed at a high level, said Smith Post Manager Ryan Hickey.
“The core was there,” Hickey said. “The veterans like Riley, Damon, Kyle and Evan. It was just figuring out how to get them there.” And the team is capable of doing it again next year, he said, with many key contributors with eligibility remaining. “That’s the goal of the program. A league championship is one thing but we want to be a tough tournament team.”
Smith ended the season with a record of 17-8.