ALBEMARLE — The Stanly County Post 76 baseball team fell short in the second round of the 2022 North Carolina American Legion Area III playoffs, losing a best-of-three series two games to one.
In the postseason tournament between five Northern Division and five Southern Division teams, third-seeded Stanly (13-12, 6-6 South) was granted a first-round gift when sixth-seeded Sandy Ridge (0-17, 0-10 North) forfeited all three games that were scheduled for July 8-10.
Stanly was then paired in with second-seeded Eastern Randolph (17-13, 7-3 North), winning the first game but dropping the second and third to lose the best-of-three series.
Stanly pulled off a 7-6 road win in Game 1 of the series but lost 13-4 in the second game of the doubleheader at West Stanly High School’s baseball field on July 14.
Eastern Randolph then knocked out Post 76 with a 13-3 win in the deciding Game 3. While it was not the tournament outcome he wanted, first-year Stanly coach Craig Bolton still saw his group finish in third place of the South Division as the team returned to the diamond for its first year back after a brief hiatus in American Legion play.
It was announced July 16 that Eastern Randolph was forced to forfeit its best-of-five semifinal series with top-seeded Rowan County (34-7, 12-0 South) due to a lack of available players.
Rowan County will now challenge fellow No. 1 seed Randolph County (28-8, 8-2 North) in the Area III Championship Game on July 22. Randolph County bested second-seeded Kannapolis (18-10, 8-4 South) in all three games of their semifinals matchup.
The results from this American Legion tournament will affect the seeding for the upcoming North Carolina State Tournament (July 26-30), Southeast Regional Tournament (Aug. 3-7) and American Legion World Series (Aug. 11-16).