EDWARDSVILLE – Alton Post 126 player Ryan Best started the Fourth of July week off with a bang, going three-for-three with four RBIs on Monday against New Athens, then followed up on Tuesday against Jerseyville by drawing three walks and scoring twice in a pair of 10-0 wins for the Legionnaires to boost their record to 11-5 this summer.

“I’ve just been seeing the ball really well,” Best said in an interview following the Jerseyville game Tuesday night, “getting good pitches to hit, trying to hit early in the count. There’s a lot of runners on, so I’m just trying to hit them in.”

Best, who played for Staunton High during the high school season, has indeed been seeing the ball very good recently, and has been working on his swing.

“I’ve been seeing the ball really well,” Best said. “I’ve just been working on my swing a bunch this past couple of weeks. It’s probably been coming together this past couple of weeks, so it’s feeling good.”

Alton had two great pitching performances in those two games, with both Adam Stilts and Cullen McBride tossing one-hit shutouts, striking out a combines 17 batters. And with the Firecracker tournament coming up this weekend, it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Legionnaires.

“Cullen and Adam, they’ve been pitching outstanding,” Best said. “Just throwing a lot of strikes, getting a lot of ground balls, getting people out. I think we have a good chance to win, we’ve just got to come out, swing the bats early, get a lot of runs, and hope we pitch well and play good defense.”

Defense is one of the most important keys to Post 126, and the team has played very well defensively, limiting errors and getting key outs when needed. And the hitting is coming together at the right time, and it could make Alton a very dangerous team when the American Legion playoffs begin in mid-July.

“I think we have a really good shot to win District,” Best said, “just because our pitching is outstanding, and we’re just on a roll with the bats, defense, pitching, just everything. We’re on a roll. Just hope we can keep it going.”

As far as individual goals for Best for the remainder of the season, he’s focused on all-around goals for himself and his team.

“I just want to keep getting on base,” Best said, “keep hitting the ball well, play a lot of good defense, just try to not make any errors. And pitching wise, just throw a lot of strikes, get ground balls, get people out, and win some games.”

Send your news tips to news@edglentoday.com or on twitter @EdGlenTodayNews

Print Version