With the Ninth District regular season title secured, the Washington Post 218 Senior Legion team is ready to prove its worth against teams from around the Midwest.
Washington starts play Wednesday in the 32-team Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament. Post 218 reached the semifinals of the 2011 Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament and are looking for a higher finish this season.
Post 218 has been assigned to the National League South Division this year and there are some heavyweights in that draw.
Associated Fire of Papillion, Neb., is the defending tournament runner-up. Independence Post 21 is a traditionally strong team. And Post 44 of Pekin is the fourth team in the division.
“Our first game in Blue Springs on Wednesday against Associated Fire will probably be our toughest in the pool,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “Brendan Kleekamp will be on the mound that game and hopefully we can come out with a victory.”
From there, Gardner said his son, Cody, will start the second Wednesday game.
“We play Independence later that day and Cody Gardner will get the ball,” Gardner said. “We will decide on the other starting pitchers after those two games and after doing a little scouting on our other opponents. From the information I can gather we are in a pretty tough pool and will have to be on our game to come out on top.”
The schedule sets up with Washington playing twice on the opening day of the tournament Wednesday.
Post 218 runs into Associated Fire in a 3 p.m. game at Jim Moran Field.
After a break, Washington returns to action to face Independence Post 21 at Hidden Valley Field No. 3 at 8:30 p.m.
On Thursday, Washington finishes with a 12:30 p.m. game against Pekin Post 44 at Crysler Stadium.
The tournament will be redrawn prior to competition Friday. All teams will play, but opponents and times won’t be known until the draw.
On Saturday, pool winners will play in quarterfinal games while all other teams will be placed into crossover games.
The semifinals will take place, Sunday, at 11 a.m. The championship game, to be played at Jim Moran Field, is set for 2 p.m.
Following are the other divisions:
• American League North — Post 499 Fike, BNVW (Kan.) Huskies, Hays (Kan.) Legion and Central Spartans;
• American League South — Independence Post 340 Hi Boy, Pinnacle Bank (Neb.), Chillicothe Post 25 Cardinals and West Jaguars;
• American League East — Independence Post 1000 Bears, Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes, Elsberry Post 226 and Union Bank (Neb.);
• American League West — Lee’s Summit Post 189 Bulldogs, Sedalia Post 642 Travelers, Omaha (Neb.) Post 1 Vikings and St. Peters Post 313;
• National League North — Rod’s Sports Athletics, St. Joseph Post 11, Diamond Jaxx (Kan.) and Bellevue (Neb.) Post 339 West;
• National League East — Hawthorn Bank Outlaws, Oak Grove Post 379, Jackson Post 158 and Jefferson City Post 5; and
• National League West — Lee’s Summit Post 189 Pirates, Higginsville Post 223, Bellevue (Neb.) Post 339 East and St. Charles Post 312.