High Point/Thomasville, NC - The High Point-Thomasville HiToms Post 87 American Legion Baseball program will serve as the host for the 91st North Carolina American Legion State Championship July 26-30.
Hosted at Historic Finch Field in Thomasville, the state tournament visits 82-year old Finch Field for the second time in 11 years (2016). Considered to be the state of North Carolina's most prestigious, amateur baseball championship, the eight-team tournament will feature seven squads form across the American Legion's four area's and High-Point Thomasville Post 87 HiToms.
"The Post 87 HiToms are humbled by the confidence the North Carolina American Legion has entrusted in the High Point-Thomasville HiToms and the HPT community," HiToms President Greg Suire said. "Our ability to grow baseball and future leaders in the HPT community runs parallel with the philosophy of the American Legion and we will work dutifully to create a memory inspiring championship.
Over the last 5 years, Finch Field and the HPT HiToms have successfully played host to the USA Collegiate national team, Japanese Collegiate national team, Chinese Taipei national team, NCAA Division 2 Southeast Regional and the NCISSA AAA State tournament, this record of consistent national and international amateur baseball events solidifies Finch Field's status as the premier amateur baseball facility in the Piedmont.
"Since we launched Finch Field's re-birth in the spring of 2004, the HPT HiToms ability to make substantial economic and quality of life impacts on the greater High Point-Thomasville area has made significant strides," Suire said. "Remember, the NCAA D2 Regional in 2016 generated over $1.8 million (source: High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau) in economic activity for the HPT community and this seminal moment in sports tourism cemented the HiToms as a viable performer in the baseball destination industry. It's taken a recognizable HiToms baseball brand, grass roots baseball involvement and leadership, facility improvement and a dogmatic commitment to our area children to create this beacon of activity."
Starting on Thursday, July 26th, the 2018 tournament format will change from the traditional double-elimination bracket to a Pool Play structure. Using the blueprint of the national tournament hosted in Shelby, NC, the 2018 state tournament at Finch Field will featured three days of pool play, a semifinal round on Sunday, July 29th and a winner-take all championship game on Monday, July 30th.
"We're excited about the opportunity to bring the state tournament to Finch Field," Post 87 HiToms Head Coach Rob Shore said. "It's always a special place to play for us and we're going to do our best to represent the HPT community the best we can. Needless to say, we are pumped!"
The state tournament's previous visit to Finch Field was a historical one. With Morehead City's Lonnie Chisenhall leading the way, the current Cleveland Indian's Morehead City nine outlasted 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner's Caldwell County post on the final day to claim the state title. The 2006 state tournament at Finch Field also featured current Seattle Mariners and former University of North Carolina Star Kyle Seager and former Cleveland Indian and UNC pitcher Alex White.