Battleline: Feast or Famine For Legion Programs - The Missourian: Sports

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Battleline: Feast or Famine For Legion Programs

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Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 6:00 pm

It’s been feast or famine this season for area American Legion baseball fans.

For fans of Washington Post 218 and Union Post 297, it has been a good year.

For fans of Pacific Post 320, Sullivan Post 18 and New Haven Post 366, fortunes haven’t been as great.

Washington has a combined three-team record of 76-24 this season. That’s phenomenal.

• The Seniors are 25-10 and likely will have the third seed for the Ninth District Tournament starting later this week. Washington just won its pool at the Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament and reached the quarterfinals.

• The Juniors (25-4) won the Ninth District Tournament and host the Zone 1 Tournament starting Thursday at Borgia. That team won one of the most exciting games in some time Friday, rallying from a four-run deficit in the bottom of the 10th to win over St. Peters, 12-11. St. Peters hit nine doubles in the game. When’s the last time anyone heard of a team hitting nine doubles losing?

• The Freshmen are 26-10 entering this week’s state tournament, starting Wednesday, at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field. Washington finished as the Ninth District runner-up to an exceptional St. Charles Post 312 team. Washington did stop the undefeated season for Post 312 though. Both teams are here for the state tournament.

One thing I did hear in Elsberry is that the fans of both Washington and St. Charles are looking forward to being able to root for the other team. They’re on opposite sides of the bracket, so that’s possible for a while.

Fans can watch all three teams in action with the Juniors and Freshmen here in Washington and the Seniors at the district event at Westhoff Park in O’Fallon and the St. Peters Rec-Plex. Manager Mike Gardner said the bracket won’t be ready until Wednesday.

All three Post 218 teams seem to be peaking at the right time. I like the chances of the Junior team to win three-team zone. We know nothing about Chillicothe and Elsberry is a very solid squad.

The Freshmen should make a deep run into the state tournament. The Ninth District historically has had some of the best Freshman Legion baseball in the state.

And, the Seniors have a shot at reaching the zone tournament level. Just as West was the team to beat early in the season, Daniel Boone has emerged from the shadows of the Francis Howell state runner-up run to become the best team in the later part of the season. Scott Horace’s squad should be peaking. Two years ago, it was the runner-up in the Junior Legion state tournament. Borgia’s Justin Horace is on that squad.

The season might be over in Union, but Post 297 had a triumphant return to Legion ball this summer, going 33-9 at the Junior level. Union had the misfortune to play in the toughest division of Ninth District this season and placed fourth.

I really like what Ryan Bailey was able to accomplish with this team. I also like the fact that the Union kids gave the program a chance and they enjoyed an amazing season because of it. Now, Union needs to work to perpetuate that success next season. It’s possible there could be two Union teams with some players being too old to play Junior ball, or the whole program could make the move to Senior play.

Union wants to avoid the problems Pacific Post 320 has had this season. I give Pacific a ton of credit for trying to have three teams drawing mainly from one school. It’s been a rough season. The Seniors look to qualify for the district tournament, probably as the eighth seed.

Remember, this year’s Union was last year’s Pacific Juniors team.

I believe Cory Cowsert is a good manager, but if you’re drawing from one school, you’ve got to have everyone from that school to make things successful.

That’s the example the Sullivan Post 18 teams have set. It’s likely they’ll finish out of the playoffs in all three levels this year. If Sullivan had all of its high school players, it would be a certain contender. But Post 18 struggles to get the players. In the old days, the great Sullivan teams also borrowed from Bourbon, Cuba and Steelville. That’s the course that program will have to go through to find success again.

So, why don’t the teams get the players? Many of them prefer to play for traveling clubs, who can offer more individual training and the ability to put the players in front of scouts. The lure of a college scholarship and professional training wins out a lot of the time now. All of the traditional summer teams have suffered from losing players to the clubs.

New Haven Post 366 missed out by one win in the Freshman division and just made the Junior playoffs, but seemed to have an enjoyable season. The Juniors were dangerous in many games. From the little I saw of that organization this year, I believe it was a positive experience which will help the players in the future.

/sports

Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

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 76, Union 57

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

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

Lindbergh 67, St. Clair 46

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

Washington 56, Lutheran South 54

Poplar Bluff 59, Borgia 49

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

Francis Howell 55, Washington 48

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 62, Sullivan 35

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

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

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