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Post 64 sponsors varsity, JV teams for baseball league

Athletes and coaches are cautiously and slowly beginning to get back onto the playing fields in some areas of the country during the coronavirus pandemic, and one of the first leagues scheduled to get back into competition is Alabama American Legion Baseball.

This summer, American Legion Post 64 of Russellville is sponsoring varsity and junior varsity teams consisting of current Russellville Golden Tigers, who saw their school seasons end abruptly in March. Alabama American Legion Baseball has been around since 1928, and this year, 15 varsity and nine JV teams from across the state are planning to participate in game action.

Varsity and JV home games for Post 64 are scheduled to be held at the Russellville High School Baseball Stadium.

The two squads open the season on the road, with the varsity team traveling to Haleyville to take on Post 33 June 16, while the junior varsity traveled to Madison the same day to play the Huntsville Hooks at James Clemens High School.

The home opener for the varsity is scheduled for June 23 against Huntsville Post 237. The junior varsity takes the field at RHS for their first home game June 29 versus the Post 229 Madison Mavericks.

All contests this season are slated for a 5:30 p.m. first pitch. Home game admission is $5, and concessions will be available for purchase.

After the season opens on the road, the varsity squad will return home for the rest of the schedule, with games taking place each Tuesday over a five-week stretch.

The following week after the home-opener, the Golden Eagles of Athens come to town June 30, and they are followed by Haleyville Post 33 July 7, Post 229 Madison Mayhem July 14 and the Post 229 Jets 1 team July 21.

The Post 64 varsity team will be coached by 1994 Russellville High School graduate Brian Pace. After his days as a Golden Tiger, he went on to play college baseball, and he is the son of former RHS head basketball coach Barry Pace.

A couple of current NCAA baseball players who both won multiple AHSAA Class 5A state championships during their days at RHS will be coaching the junior varsity team for Post 64: Austin Kitterman, a pitcher for West Alabama in 2020, and Landon Ezzell, a UAH Charger, will be leading the Post 64 team into action.

A day after the home-opener June 29, Post 64 junior varsity travels to Hartselle to play Post 52 at Sparkman Park. That contest is followed by a trip to Bob Jones High School July 7 to take on the Post 229 Madison Mavericks. Post 64 then hosts Hartselle Post 52 July 13 before wrapping up the schedule the next day with a trip to James Clemens High School to play the Huntsville Hooks.