After a slow start, the Marysville American Legion Post 79A baseball team has picked it up recently, cruising to a 10-5 record before leaving last Thursday for a four-day tournament in Blissfield, Mich.

After a slow start, the Marysville American Legion Post 79A baseball team has picked it up recently, cruising to a 10-5 record before leaving last Thursday for a four-day tournament in Blissfield, Mich.

Post 79A defeated Utica Post 92 8-2 in the championship game of the Johnstown tournament, which was June 13-15.

"I think we're starting to see that camaraderie and we're starting to jell offensively," assistant coach Bob Feucht said. "A lot of our college kids either redshirted or didn't see a lot of playing time and didn't see a lot of live pitching so it took them a couple weeks or so to get adjusted and get their timing down. I know we'll be better than were earlier and we're starting to see glimpses of what we think will happen."

"I think winning the Johnstown Tournament was important for us," coach Chuck Gould said. "It did a couple of things. First, it felt nice to win the tournament. Any time you can win and be in an environment like that, it's helpful. Second, the three teams we played are in our district. That gives us a lot of confidence."

Post 79A has been playing better in large part because of the offense. Brandon Winter leads the team with a .460 batting average while Kyle Trainer is batting .424.

"Really, everybody is hitting well," said Gould, whose squad has a team batting average of .359. "We're also pitching well. Our team ERA is 4.80, which is high, but it's coming down. We've really been pitching well in the last week."

While the team played against some of the top legion teams in the Blissfield Tournament last Thursday through today, it will again go on the road in search of some good competition.

Post 79A will travel to Knoxville (Tenn.) to take on some of the best legion teams from that area Friday through June 29. It will be the first time in three years the team has participated in Knoxville tournament.

"It's important from the aspect that it will gives us an idea of our competition and also, the more games that we play in a tournament-style atmosphere, that lets our guys see what they can do," Feucht said.

"It will also give us an opportunity to jell as a team. Any time you can take the kids on trips, it's a good unification and bonding time for them."

"It gives us a change to play good competition. Our goal is to be tournament-ready and the only way to do that is to play in tournaments," Gould said. "There will be teams from all over the Southeast there. It gives our players exposure to college coaches and gives us a chance to play against other teams we wouldn't otherwise see. It also gives us a chance to stay as a group and that's an easy way for them to bond and become friends. So really it's good on several levels."

The primary goal for Post 79A entering this season was to win the district tournament and advance to state.

Scheduling tournaments as close together as Gould does could lead to the team breaking down but the coach also uses them as opportunities for everybody to get playing time.

"The makeup of our team is unique," Gould said. "In doubleheaders and tournaments, the back half of our young kids play and get good experience. Could we better than 10-5? Yeah. But with the way we want to develop the younger kids, we're about where we expected to be. When our older kids play predominantly, we've only lost once."

After returning from Blissfield, Post79A will play at home Tuesday against the Ohio Warhawks, then play Wednesday at Chillicothe Post 62 before leaving Thursday for Knoxville.