Round one of the American Legion Baseball Zone 2 Tournament at Hidden Valley Park went to Mother Nature.
With a steady rain falling at the site of the tourney, and more rain predicted for later in the evening, all of Thursday's first-round games have been move to today.
“And we're not sure we can get them in Friday,” Blue Springs Rod's Sports Athletics manager Mike Rooney said. “We're supposed to get a lot of rain late Thursday and some more on Friday, so we're keeping Saturday open and we can hopefully get them in then.”
The tentative schedule for today has St. Joseph Post 11 playing the Sedalia Post 642 Travelers at 10 a.m., followed by Oak Grove Post 379 against the Lee's Summit Post 189 Pirates at 1 p.m. at Hidden Valley’s Jim Moran Field.
Rooney's A's, champions of the Zone 2 East district tournament and regular season, meet the winner of the St. Joseph-Sedalia game at 4 p.m. The Lee’s Summit Hawthorn Bank Outlaws, the Zone 2 West regular season and district tournament champions, meet the winner of the Oak Grove-Pirates game at 7 p.m.
“We just hope we can get them all in Friday, and then begin play at 1 p.m. Saturday,” Rooney said. “If not, we will start games on Saturday earlier in the morning.”
The A's bring a 40-7 record into the Zone 2 Tournament along with a world of passion and determination, he said.
“We've lost our first zone game the last two years and we're going to do everything possible to make sure that doesn't happen this year,” A's standout first baseman/pitcher Corbin Hare said. “In zone play, the first game is the most important.”
Rooney agreed.
“We haven't gotten the job done the past two years, and this year's team wants to change that,” Rooney said. “If you lose your first game, you go back through the loser's bracket and you play, and play and play and use pitcher after pitcher after pitcher. It's tough.”
The A's are entering the tournament with much confidence after beating Oak Grove Post 379 for the Zone 2 East district title in Sedalia.
“We only have one goal all season and that's the make a deep run in the postseason,” Hare said. “We won 40 games, but if you don't have success in the postseason, those 40 wins don't mean a whole lot.”
David Stober, who plays shortstop and pitches for the A's, believes there is a solid reason for the team’s postseason success throughout the years.
“Most of us play high school ball at Blue Springs, and then we come and play Legion ball,” Stober explained. “We're all good friends, we have good players and we're just used to being on successful teams.
“We've come up short in zone the last two years, so we really want to get off to a good start and win our first game.”
Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC