The road to Jefferson City runs through Elsberry.
No, it’s not some new funky geography. To make it to the Zone 1 Tournament in Jefferson City, Ninth District teams will have to win in Elsberry though to move to the next level.
Elsberry will host all winners’ bracket games past the first round and the losers’ bracket from the third round forward.
The 10 remaining Ninth District teams played all the way down to the wire to determine the eight tournament teams. In games Monday, the league standings ended in a three-way tie for eighth place with Wentzville Post 323 South getting the playoff spot on tiebreakers over St. Peters Post 323 and St. Charles Post 312 West.
One team already has its spot in Jefferson City reserved. Washington Post 218, the top seed with a 17-1 league record, has been awarded a berth in the Zone 1 Tournament.
If Washington wins the district tournament, Elsberry Post 226 would also go to Jefferson City for the Zone 1 Tournament. Otherwise, the district tournament winner will advance with Washington.
Post 218 opens Wednesday at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School against Wentzville Post 323 South with a 5:30 p.m. start time.
Elsberry Post 226, 13-5 in the regular season, is seeded second and hosts No. 7 Hannibal Post 55 Wednesday at 7 p.m. Post 226 won the Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament over Washington Sunday.
Speaking of wood bats, this tournament will be played with them, but all events starting with the zone will be with metal bats allowed.
The other first-round games are No. 5 Union Post 297 taking on fourth-seeded St. Charles Post 312 at Blanchette Park Field No. 2 Wednesday at 7 p.m. and third-seeded Wentzville Post 323 North hosting No. 6 New Haven Post 366 at Fireman’s Park Wednesday at 8 p.m.
The winners’ bracket moves to Elsberry Thursday with games at 6 p.m. (1-8 winner vs. 4-5 winner) and 8:30 p.m. (2-7 winner vs. 3-6 winner).
The first round of the losers’ bracket will be played at the St. Peters Rec-Plex with games at 6 p.m. (1-8 loser vs. 4-5 loser) and 8:30 p.m. (2-7 loser vs. 3-6 loser).
It has been noted that should Elsberry lose, some games could be shifted around so that Elsberry plays at home.
Three games are set for Friday. The winners’ bracket final will be played at Elsberry at 7 p.m. The two losers from Thursday’s Elsberry games will play the St. Peters Rec-Plex winners at Fireman’s Park in Wentzville at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Saturday’s action starts with a 4 p.m. game between the Wentzville winners at Elsberry’s Legion Field. The losers’ bracket final follows at 7 p.m.
The championship series will start Saturday at 1 p.m. The if-needed game is set for 4 p.m.
The Elsberry Legion Field is located at Post 226, on Highway 79 north of the downtown area in Elsberry.
The Zone 1 Tournament runs in Jefferson City July 19-21 and the top two teams will advance to the state tournament in Sedalia July 26-28.
Jefferson City Post 5 and the winner of the District 1-2 Tournament will join the event.