CALVERT CITY – William A. Doyle Post 236 will field an American Legion senior baseball team for the 14th consecutive year, with the season opener scheduled for tonight, a double header against Ford & Sons Post 63 in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The home opener will be Friday at 3 p.m., the opening game of the William A. Doyle Round Robin tournament. Post 236 will take on Mayfield Post 26 in that game, following a ceremony that will feature the post color guard.
Billy Hodge, who helped form the team in 2000 and served as its coach for eight years, returns at the helm of the program this year.
Cody Gilbert, an outfielder-pitcher from Livingston Central High School, leads the roster of returning players.
Gilbert has signed to play baseball for Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill. The left-hander has played for Post 236 for the past three years.
Also returning are three players who will be rising juniors at the consolidated McCracken County High School next year. They are Caleb Stonecipher and Shubert Moffatt of Heath and Josh Rogers of Lone Oak.
Stonecipher is a shortstop, Moffatt a second baseman and Rogers an outfielder. All three will take turns in the pitching rotation as well.
One Marshall County player, 2013 graduate Devin Chambliss, is on the roster but will miss the early season because of knee surgery.
Hodge hopes to have Chambliss in action within two to four weeks.
Other players include:
Keegan Gillette, who will be a senior next year at Livingston Central;
Kalen Parker, rising senior, and Will Carr, rising junior, at McCracken County, both from Lone Oak;
Coby Massey and Cameron Gudgell, rising seniors, McCracken County, both from Heath;
Bryce Orr, rising junior at Calloway County;
Aaron Armstrong, rising junior at Paducah Tilghman;
Ryan Alderson, rising senior, and B.J. Elder and Tanner Foster, rising sophomores, all from Murray;
and Trey Martin, Colin Crawford and Tyler Ballard, rising juniors at Carlisle County.
In the second game Friday, Mayfield will meet a Missouri team, the SEMO Strokers, at 5:30. Post 236 will play its second game of the tourney at 7:45 against Shelbyville (Tenn.) Post 23.
Saturday action includes Lyon County Post 68 vs. SEMO, 10 a.m.; Lyon County vs. Post 236, 12:30 p.m.; SEMO vs. Shelbyville, 4 p.m.; and Mayfield vs. Shelbyville, 6:30 p.m.
The tournament concludes Sunday with SEMO taking on Post 236 at 11 a.m., Lyon County vs. Shelbyville at 1:30 p.m. and Mayfield vs. Lyon County at 4 p.m.
All round robin games and all home games are at Mike Miller Park in Draffenville.