Led by head coach Eric McAfee, Post 145 began their season June 4 and finished the season July 20. Their last game was at Hunter Park against Buford, with Post 145 winning 12-1 and capturing the third seed going into the playoffs.
They wrapped the season with a 17-4 overall record and an 11-2 league record. Last season Post 145 finished second in state so McAfee said they felt good going into the playoffs.
“Right now, going in, I’m pretty confident. We’re a lot better. There’s a lot of teams that could win it but I feel we will be right up there with Rockdale,” he said.
He said watching this year’s No. 1 seed, Rockdale, win it all in 2012 left a “sour taste” in their mouth.
“I think if we didn’t win the whole thing they’ll be disappointed,” McAfee said.
On a team of 18 players, Post 145 has 15 former high school players this season, coming from Alexander, Chapel Hill, South Paulding, Villa Rica, Kings Way Christian and Bremen.
Jordan Lee of Alexander, Jared Benson of South Paulding and Mickey Palagano of Villa Rica are the only players still in high school.
Benson leads the team in home runs with three.
McAfee named five players as his key players this season – Chapel Hill alumnus Chris Brown, Alexander alumni Trevor Billings, Dalton Thrasher and Austin Whiteley and Villa Rica alumnus Zach Dutton.
Brown pitches for the team and after 39.1 innings has an ERA of 0.92, has a 5-0 record, two saves and thrown 52 strikeouts.
“He has just been out of this world,” McAfee said.
Brown is also hitting .426 with 23 RBI.
McAfee described Billings as a “very smart baseball player” who has been excellent defensively, hitting .384 as the team’s leadoff hitter.
Dutton has “pitched extremely well as a starter this summer,” McAfee said. Thrasher is hitting .539 with 29 RBI. Whiteley has an ERA of 2.25.
“[Whiteley has] been my biggest relief guy,” McAfee said. “He’s not an overpowering guy but he comes in the game and gets people out.”