It’s a whole new ballgame for 2017.
The Four Rivers Baseball Classic will have some changes for the 2017 season. Borgia has left the event in favor of starting a tournament of its own. Sullivan has come into the field to replace the Knights.
The tournament still consists of 12 teams with three-team pools, slightly changed from last year. Each team will play the other one during pool action.
This year’s pools are:
• Pool A — New Haven, Rolla and St. Clair;
• Pool B — Hermann, Pacific and Wright City;
• Pool C — Montgomery County, St. James and Sullivan; and
• Pool D — Festus, Owensville and Washington.
Last year’s pools were Wright City, Borgia and Owensville in Pool A, St. Clair Festus and St. James in Pool B, Montgomery County, Pacific and New Haven in Pool C and Washington, Rolla and Hermann in Pool D.
Another big change is the new MSHSAA rule on pitchers. Hurlers now are restricted to certain pitch counts and mandated rest times, meaning schools will go much deeper into their pitching staffs during the tournament.
Pool games start as early as March 17 and run through March 23. Pool B will host the final four-team tournaments Saturday, March 25.
The winner will have the Gold Bracket, the second-place team will host the Silver Bracket and the third-place team gets the Bronze Bracket.
Pool play starts with three games Friday, March 17.
St. Clair visits New Haven, Pacific is at Wright City and St. James goes to Montgomery County. All pool games, with the exception of the St. James-Montgomery County contest, start at 4:30 p.m.
Pool games Monday, March 20, are Rolla at St. Clair, Wright City at Hermann and Owensville at Festus.
The Tuesday, March 21, pool games are New Haven at Rolla, Hermann at Pacific, Sullivan at St. James and Festus at Washington.
One pool game is set for Wednesday, March 22. Montgomery County visits Sullivan.
The last scheduled pool game is Washington at Owensville Thursday, March 23.
Pacific is the defending champion. The Indians vanquished Rolla in the title game last year, 12-7.
Festus beat Owensville for third place.
Washington was the Silver Bracket winner, beating St. Clair, 7-4.
Borgia won the Bronze Bracket last season with a 4-3 win over St. James. Hermann beat New Haven for the consolation in that bracket.