Justin Holland’s summer playing for Wayne County Post 11 was a whirlwind, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Holland, who played his senior year at Greenfield and will attend Brunswick Community College, said he was a little nervous joining Post 11, but he quickly found his place on the team.
“Going into it, I was kind of nervous. I knew a bunch of people like Will Harris, Logan Merritt, and Clay Matthews because I used to play with him, but I was still a little nervous, but it turned out really well,” Holland said.
Holland is primarily a catcher, but he can play all over the baseball diamond and does whatever it takes to help his team.
He helped lead Post 11 to 23-7 overall record and its first appearance in the N.C. Senior American Legion state tournament for the first time since 2014.
This summer for Post 11, Holland hit a team-high five home runs, had a .396 batting average, 24 RBIs, and 19 doubles.
“Going to Cherryville was really, really fun,” Holland said. “I think going to Cherryville was probably the best experience I’ve had with baseball.”
One of Holland’s best attributes this summer was coming up big in must-win situations. In a regular-season game against Pitt Post 39, Holland hit a home run in the top of the eighth inning to lift Post 11 to 13-12 win.
The in the state tournament against Port City Post 545, Holland hit another home run to give Post 11 a 5-0. Post 11 would go one to hold off Porty City 7-6.
“It meant a lot because I didn’t think I’d come in and lead the team in home runs. We had a lot of players who could hit the ball a long way,” Holland said. “That one against Pitt was probably the biggest home run I hit in my life, and it kind of sparked it for me.
“After that game, my bat got really hot.”
Holland, who hopes to major in marine biology, said he immensely enjoyed playing for Post 11. He made new friends and became a better baseball player.
And he can’t wait to take what he has learned to Brunswick Community College.
“Coming up big helped my confidence a lot going into college baseball,” Holland said.