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Battleline: Blessed With Great Legion Teams

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Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:00 am

It’s over.

American Legion playoff baseball officially came to a close for local teams Saturday afternoon in Jackson.

We were blessed with another fantastic summer of baseball from the local teams.

The Washington Post 218 Freshman team secured the highest finish of any local squad, winning the Missouri State Tournament at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field. Washington had to record an amazing comeback against Jackson, rallying from a 9-1 deficit to win 12-10, before coming back to beat Ste. Genevieve twice in the championship series.

Scott Forrester’s team went 31-11 for the season, rallying from a rough start to finish second in the Ninth District regular season.

During the Ninth District Tournament, Post 218 handed St. Charles its first loss of the season, but finished second in the tournament as St. Charles won the championship series.

Entering state play as the host team, Post 218 opened with two wins before having to fight back through the losers’ bracket.

And, in the winner-take-all game, Washington broke a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh to win, 3-0.

That was Washington’s second Freshman Legion state title with the other one coming in 2012.

It also marks the third time a Post 218 team has captured the highest title possible for its age group. Freshman Legion action is only at the state level. The 2005 Juniors won at the regional level. There is no national tournament for Juniors.

This year’s Post 218 Junior Legion team had an interesting run, finishing third in the state tournament in Jackson last weekend at 28-6.

Post 218 probably should have finished higher in the final standings. Washington had a 10-0 lead over Eureka in the losers’ bracket final Saturday before falling 11-10 in nine innings.

I can’t say I’ve ever seen so many huge comebacks this season. Saturday’s loss was the biggest comeback. Washington did rally from four runs down in the 10th inning against St. Peters in the district tournament and the Freshmen came back from eight runs down in the state tournament.

Phillip Kleekamp’s team had a very successful season while blending players from a number of different schools. It should help tremendously for the 2015 high school season.

Washington finished third in the regular season Ninth District standings before sweeping the district and zone tournament titles to advance to the state tournament.

Jackson ended up winning the state championship and will represent Missouri in Leavenworth, Kan., this week at the regional event. Former Post 218 Manager Tom Schroeder, who serves on the state committee, pointed out that both state tournaments played so far have been won by the host team.

It was a different season for the Post 218 Seniors, who finished at 27-12. It also was an odd ending for Mike Gardner’s team.

Even if it didn’t win the Ninth District Tournament, Washington had a few other ways to get into this past weekend’s Zone 1 Tournament, but with St. Charles winning the championship, Washington was knocked out and West, Daniel Boone and St. Charles went on in postseason play.

One hates to use the term “rebuilding” to describe a season, but with the Seniors, it probably fits. The Post 218 Seniors have spoiled us over the years with trips to the state and zone tournaments. Most teams don’t advance beyond the district level and this year proved to be one of those years for Washington.

Post 218 introduced a lot of new players into the lineup this year and at least 12 of them should be back next year. Many were on that 2012 Freshman Legion state championship team, or played in the Junior Legion state tournament last year. Post 218 will be back next year, stronger than ever.

At the Zone 1 Tournament, Jefferson City Post 5 repeated as champion, winning the if-needed game over West at Lindenwood University Sunday.

It’s difficult to say how things will be next summer. I would suspect Washington would be one of the top teams again in the Senior Legion division based upon returning players and players moving up from the Juniors.

Union had a major debut in Junior Legion baseball this season, finishing second in the Ninth District regular season standings before losing to Elsberry in the district tournament.

It was a great return for Post 297, which hadn’t fielded a team in years. Manager Ryan Bailey had enough help to deal with the pesky contact days deal, where he and his staff had to take time off to keep from surpassing the MSHSAA quota.

How Union copes with that next year, with many of the players likely going to have to play at the Senior Legion level (does Union form a second team, or does it send those players somewhere else like Washington?) is something to be decided.

The case against expanding too rapidly probably can be made after watching Pacific Post 320 this season. They went from two to three teams this year and had a rough season. I know there was a lot of frustration and a lot of mistakes made. Frequently, those teams needed four or five chances to get three outs in an inning.

We made every effort from our end to cover those teams closely, but didn’t get a lot of cooperation in return. I know when things get brought into order, Pacific will be fine. That’s a baseball town and as long as they get the best players, they should be good enough to qualify for the playoffs in the future.


Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North



Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter


Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1




Pool 2


North Tech


Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.


Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games