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Battleline: Crunch Time for Legion Teams

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Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014 8:00 am

It’s crunch time for area American Legion baseball teams.

Freshman and Junior Legion teams now have until this coming Sunday to complete their games with the Ninth District Tournaments at those levels starting next Tuesday.

The major change to the tournaments this year is that only the top eight teams qualify for the postseason. That adds some weight to the regular season and will help the district be able to complete the district tournaments in a reasonable amount of time.

I like the change. It’s a throwback to the old days, which ended in the early 1990s. Also, it should erase some of the problems with Ninth District teams being burned out by the start of the Zone Tournament.

Additionally, it will knock out forfeits in the district events. Every year, it seems that one or two teams at the bottom of the bracket fold after the first game.

This year’s Freshman Legion event returns to Elsberry and one team, Washington, already has a state tournament berth. Post 218 is hosting the state event this season. There is no Zone Tournament at the Freshman Legion level.

As of the last standings, nobody has beaten St. Charles Post 312 in league play (16-0), so that squad would be the favorite.

As of this past weekend, Washington is 15-3 in the league for second place. That’s a pretty good comeback for a team which started the season a little slow.

Hannibal Post 55 (13-4) and Winfield-Elsberry (12-6) would round out the top four if the tournament started today.

The bottom four teams in the tournament would be Wentzville Post 323 (7-9), West (5-10), St. Peters Post 313 (4-10) and either New Haven (5-12) or Warrenton (4-11).

If there would happen to be a tie, it would be broken by head-to-head play first. Record against common opponents, starting at the top of the standings, is next. Runs allowed is the third tiebreaker with coin flip being the fourth.

If three or more teams are tied for a spot, head-to-head results against other tied teams is the first tiebreaker.

Pacific enters this week a half-game out of eighth at 2-10 with eight to play. Elsberry is just behind Pacific.

Outlook — Stranger things have happened, but it would be a surprise if anyone other than St. Charles joined Washington at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field for the state event.

Things are a lot different at the Junior Legion level, where there are 12 teams trying to fight for positions.

Elsberry Post 226 likely sewed up the top seed this weekend with a 2-1 win over Washington Saturday. Elsberry has a 16-1 record and Washington is 14-3.

Union Post 297 (11-3) is a player for the second seed as well if it can win out. Union’s return to Legion baseball has been nothing less than sensational. Despite sweeping Washington, Union remains a game behind Post 218.

There is good news for the locals though. The tournament is being hosted by Washington and will take place at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field and should give the local teams an advantage in travel.

If the season ended today, Wentzville would round out the top half of the bracket.

Other teams qualifying would be St. Charles (9-6), New Haven (9-10), St. Peters (8-9) and Hannibal (7-9).

Hannibal has a two-game edge over Daniel Boone (3-9). Others missing out if the season ended today would be Warrenton (3-11), Pacific (2-11) and Sullivan (0-14). Pacific originally was scheduled to host the tournament.

Outlook — It wouldn’t shock me if it came down to Washington and Union to either determine the other Zone Tournament spot (the regular-season winner gets a spot).

The tournament champion will host a three-team Zone with Trenton or Chillicothe being the lone team outside the district. The Zone Tournament winner goes to Jackson for the state event.

In the Senior Legion district, play goes on for a bit. West leads the district standings at 8-2 with Elsberry and Washington tied at 8-4.

St. Charles (7-4) would round out the top four if the season ended today.

It’s a close fight for the next three spots with Wentzville and Daniel Boone at 5-3 and St. Peters (5-4) holding seventh.

Pacific (3-7) would be the final team if the season ended now with Warrenton (0-7) and Sullivan (0-10) missing the postseason.

The district tournament is being held at Westhoff Park in O’Fallon and the St. Peters Rec-Plex. West and two other district teams will advance to the Zone Tournament at St. Charles along with the winners of the Eighth (Jefferson City or Fulton), and First-Second District Tournament (Trenton, Chillicothe, Moberly, Brookfield and Hannibal).

The Zone 1 Tournament is at Lindenwood University and the state will be at Sedalia again.

Outlook — Right now, West is the top team in the district. Whether someone can improve enough to knock that team off the perch remains to be seen. There’s still a lot of district baseball to be played before things can be firmed up.


Recently, I took some vacation. Yes, I know the concept is very foreign to me, but even workaholics need to get out and see the world, or at least touch base with their families. In this case, I was fortunate enough to be present for my niece’s first birthday.

Allen, Texas, is a very interesting town, especially in how sports are treated there. With over 89,000 people, it would be the seventh-largest city (per 2010 census). In Texas, it’s just another Dallas suburb.

The school athletic complex features a $60 million football stadium which would put many colleges to shame (and unfortunately currently is closed due to cracking in the concrete). My guess is that if that complex was in Washington, it would take up a good chunk of downtown. It’s massive!

The complex includes the track, and another turf field, which would be a pretty good multipurpose venue around here. There are separate baseball and softball fields, and several tennis courts. I didn’t get to see the indoor facilities.

If things weren’t good at the school the adjacent Allen Station Park has several baseball and softball fields (at least two with turf), an indoor natatorium as well as an outdoor pool, a wave park, skate park and multiple hockey rinks. There are over 40 miles of trails there as well.

And, that doesn’t take in the Event Center, which hosts concerts and is the home of the hockey Allen Americans, the Central League champion.

Many of the facilities were in heavy use while I was there. I saw at least two camps taking place. And every morning, the parks workers were making sure the park fields were ready for that day’s action.

In short, it seems that the sports facilities and parks are a matter of civic pride there. I don’t always see that here. Being a smaller city, the resources might not be there to maintain things. I just know I hear the complaints about less being done and field rental fees going up. Honestly, that’s not the way to develop good working relationships with folks who are willing to pay good money to use the facilities. There has to be a happy medium there.


Area Scoreboard

Boys Basketball

Friday, Jan. 2

Sullivan at Washington    7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 6

Community Christian at Fulton SA    5:30 p.m.

Cardinal Ritter at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Liberty Christian    7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 8

Fulton SA at Bethel    6:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 9

*Borgia at St. Dominic    6:45 p.m.

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    7 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Eagle Ridge    7:45 p.m.

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran Tny    TBA

Saturday, Jan. 10

&Borgia vs. Lutheran N    TBA

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran Tny    TBA

Monday, Jan. 12

%St. Charles vs. Bayless    6 p.m.

%Westminster vs. Washington    7:30 p.m.

Fulton SA at Providence    7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 13

%Borgia vs. St. Clair    6 p.m.

#South Callaway vs. North Callaway    6 p.m.

#Hermann vs. Russellville    6 p.m.

Heritage Classical at Crosspoint    7 p.m.

%Francis Howell Central vs. Union    7:30 p.m.

#Montgomery Co vs. New Bloomfield    7:30 p.m.

#Harrisburg vs. New Haven    7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 15

#South Callaway-North Callaway loser vs. Montgomery Co-New Bloomfield loser    6 p.m.

#South Callaway-North Callaway winner vs. Montgomery Co-New Bloomfield winner    6 p.m.

Bethel at Fulton SA    6:30 p.m.

#Hermann-Russellville loser vs. Harrisburg-New Haven loser    7:30 p.m.

#Hermann-Russellville winner vs. Harrisburg-New Haven winner    7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16

%St. Charles-Bayless loser vs. Westminster-Washington loser    4 p.m.

%Borgia-St. Clair loser vs. Francis Howell Central-Union loser    5:30 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Community Christian    6:30 p.m.

%St. Charles-Bayless winner vs. Westminster-Washington winner    7 p.m.

Providence at Fulton SA    7 pm.

#Seventh-place game    7:30 p.m.

Consolation game    7:30 p.m.

%Borgia-St. Clair winner vs. Francis Howell Central-Union winner    8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 17

%Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

#Third-place game    3:30 p.m.

%Consolation game    4 p.m.

%Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

#Championship game    6:30 p.m.

%Championship game    7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Fulton SA at Liberty Christian    6:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    7:30 p.m.

%Washington Tournament

#South Callaway Tournament

Girls Basketball

Friday, Dec. 26

Seckman Tournament

Northwest 43, Mehlville 42

Festus 58, Patriettes 13

Seckman 36, Oakville 28

Pacific 73, Carnahan 38

Saturday, Dec. 27

Seckman Tournament

Mehlville 39, Patriettes 35

Oakville 73, Carnahan 38

Festus 47, Northwest 30

Pacific 51, Seckman 33

Monday, Dec. 29

Seckman Tournament

Seventh-place game—Carnahan vs. Patriettes    1:30 p.m.

Third-place game—Seckman vs. Northwest    1:30 p.m.

Consolation game—Oakville vs. Mehlville    3 p.m.

Championship game—Pacific vs. Festus   3 p.m.

Rolla Tournament

St. Clair vs. Waynesville    3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 30

Rolla Tournament

St. James-Sedalia loser vs. Waynesville-St.Clair loser    2 p.m.

St. James-Sedalia winner vs. Waynesville-St. Clair winner    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 31

Rolla Tournament

Consolation game    9 a.m.

Seventh-place game    9 a.m. at MS&T

Third-place game    12 p.m.

Championship game    3 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 2

Hermann at Washington    5:30 p.m.

New Haven at Bourbon    6 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 5

*Union at New Haven    6 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 6

*Holt at Washington    5:30 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Liberty Christian    5:30 p.m.

*Borgia at St. Dominic    6:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 7

Borgia at St. Clair    7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 8

Fulton SA at Bethel    5 p.m.

Park Hills Central at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

Cuba at New Haven    6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 9

*Ft. Zumwalt South at Washington    6 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Eagle Ridge    6:15 p.m.

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran Tny    TBA

Saturday, Jan. 10

Borgia vs. MICDS (St. Joseph’s Academy Shootout)    12:30 p.m.

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran Tny    TBA

Monday, Jan. 12

Lutheran South at St Clair    5:30 p.m.

Lindbergh at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

@Washington vs. Patriettes    5:30 p.m.

#Harrisburg vs. Russellville    6 p.m.

#New Bloomfield vs. Montgomery Co    6 p.m.

Fulton SA at Providence    6 p.m.

@Helias vs. Sullivan    7 p.m.

#North Callaway vs. New Haven    7:30 p.m.

#Hermann vs. South Callaway    7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 13

Pacific at Ursuline    4:30 p.m.

Ft. Zumwalt East at St. Clair    5:30 p.m.

Heritage Classical at Crosspoint    5:30 p.m.

@St. Charles West vs. Union    5:30 p.m.

@Borgia vs. Eureka    7 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 14

#Harrisburg-Russellville loser vs. North Callaway-New Haven loser    6 p.m.

#Harrisburg-Russellville winner vs. North Callaway-New Haven winner    6 p.m.

#New Bloomfield-Montgomery Co loser vs. Hermann-South Callaway loser    6 p.m.

#New Bloomfield-Montgomery Co winner vs. Hermann-South Callaway winner    6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 15

Bethel at Fulton SA    5 p.m.

Northwest at St. Clair    5:30 p.m.

@Washington-Patriettes loser vs. Helias-Sullivan loser    5:30 p.m.

@St. Charles West-Union loser vs. Borgia-Eureka loser    7 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16

@Washington-Patriettes winner vs. Helias-Sullivan winner    5:30 p.m.

Providence at Fulton SA    5:30 p.m.

#Seventh-place game    6 p.m.

#Consolation game    6 p.m.

@St. Charles West-Union winner vs. Borgia-Eureka winner    7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 17

@Seventh-place game    1 p.m.

#Third-place game    2 p.m.

@Consolation game    2:30 p.m.

@Third-place game    4 p.m.

#Championship    5 p.m.

@Championship    5:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    5:30 p.m.

Union at Warrenton    6 p.m.

Montgomery Co at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Duchesne at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Fulton SA at Liberty Christian    5 p.m.

Parkway West at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

New Haven at Wellsville    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    6 p.m.

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

@Union Tournament

#South Callaway Tournament


Friday, Dec. 26

Union, Pacific at Hillsboro Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 27

Union, Pacific at Hillsboro Tny    TBA

Monday, Dec. 29

Washington at Lindbergh Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Dec. 30

Washington at Lindbergh Tny    TBA

Wednesday, Jan. 7

*Ft. Zumwalt South at Washington     6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 8

Washington at Granite City    4:30 p.m.

Borgia at Hancock Tri-Meet    5 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 9

Washington at GAC Championships    TBA

Saturday, Jan. 10

Washington at GAC Championships    TBA

Tuesday, Jan. 13

Union at Liberty Quad    5 p.m.

Washington at Warrenton    6 p.m.

*Sullivan at Pacific    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 14

*Washington at Holt/Ft. Zumwalt East    6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 15

Westminster at Pacific    6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16

Union at Branson    5 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 17

Borgia at Owensville Tny    9 a.m.

Washington, Pacific at 141 Rumble    TBA

Union at Branson Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Jan. 20

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt North    6 p.m.

Union at Sullivan/St. James/Warrenton    5 p.m.

Girls Swimming

Wednesday, Jan. 7

Borgia at Kennedy    6:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 9

Borgia/Washington at MICDS    4:15 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 12

Borgia at DuBourg    6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 15

Washington at Clayton    4:15 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt West    3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt East/Timberland    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games