After finishing his freshman year at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Sean Fleming could have decided not to return to the Union American Legion Post 79A baseball team this summer.

After finishing his freshman year at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Sean Fleming could have decided not to return to the Union American Legion Post 79A baseball team this summer.

Instead, the 2010 graduate of Jonathan Alder High School opted to come back so he could reunite with friends and teammates.

This is Fleming's final season of eligibility with the team.

"We have a lot of younger guys, but the past couple of games they've been growing as a team and we're getting more comfortable, so we're looking pretty good right now," Fleming said. "I definitely like the program. Chuck (Gould) is a really good coach. He works with you on things even before practice or after practice sometimes if you ask him. I did it because I wanted to play ball and I definitely wanted to play for Marysville again."

Post 79A has gotten off to a good start. The team was 13-6 heading into the Morton Grove Post 134 Invitational in Morton Grove, Ill., on June 24.

Post 79A will visit Lakewood on Monday, June 27, and Utica Post 92 on Tuesday, June 28.

Post 79A will play host to Johnstown Post 254 on Wednesday, June 29. The teams will complete a game that was suspended because of bad weather on June 21 at Johnstown with Post 79A leading 3-2 in the third inning. The teams then will play a scheduled game.

Post 79A will compete in the Lancaster Post 11 Classic on Thursday, June 30, to July 4. Post 79A is the defending champion.

"That tournament is certainly a good barometer of how we're playing," Gould said. "Most of these teams are from Ohio. They're some of the better teams in Ohio. We've been fortunate to win it on three different occasions and went on to win our district and go to the states."

Post 79A had its seven-game winning streak snapped on June 19 with a 5-0 loss to Ashley Post 518.

Last season, Post 79A finished 29-17 overall after winning the district 6 title and then losing to Lima Post 96 19-13 in the state tournament.

Post 79A opened the double-elimination state tournament with an 8-7 win over Worthington Post 239. Post 79A then lost to Napoleon Post 300 12-2 before beating Cincinnati (Harrison) Post 199 11-10.

Post 79A finished fourth in the state after losing to Post 96.

Post 79A won the district 6 title by beating Post 92 9-8 in 10 innings.

Gould believes this year's team has the potential to match last season's accomplishments.

"A lot of it depends on the quality of the competition in the state," Gould said. "We have a chance to be pretty good. The depth of our pitching is probably our strength. Ultimately, defensively we're going to be really good."

Jonathan Alder senior Anderson Hasting (P/C), Marysville senior Jake Tharp (P/OF) and Ryan Longbrake (P/INF), who recently completed his freshman year at Dayton and is a 2010 graduate of Dublin Jerome, should lead the pitching staff, according to Gould.

Gould expects Kyle Nelson (P/SS), who graduated from Marysville last month and will play at Mount Union, and Jon Hackney (P/C/3B), who will be a senior at Fairbanks, to emerge as the closers.

Matt Steele (P/1B), who graduated from Marysville last month and will play at Tiffin, and Jonathan Alder senior Jared Adams (P/OF) also should contribute on the mound.

Other players are Marysville seniors Spencer Ansley (LF), Zach LaRoche (1B/C) and Joey Smith (P/3B), Marysville junior Corey Gould (2B/SS), who is the coach's son, Jonathan Alder seniors Josh Holland (1B/OF) and Wes Fauver (SS/OF), 2011 Fairbanks graduate Cody Slone (2B) and West Liberty-Salem junior Matt Ulmer (3B/1B).

"We got off to a little bit of a slow start because we have five kids from Jonathan Alder and they played late in the state tournament, losing in the state semifinals," coach Gould said. "We don't get them for about 10 days into the season. They're obviously a key part of our overall group."

Jonathan Alder lost to DeSales 4-2 in a Division II state semifinal on June 3 at Huntington Park. DeSales beat Akron Hoban 9-8 the following day to win the state title.