Independence Post 21 and the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s earned a trip to this week’s American Legion Zone 2 Tournament in Sedalia, Mo., by winning their respective divisions during the regular season.

Independence Post 21 and the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s earned a trip to this week’s American Legion Zone 2 Tournament in Sedalia, Mo., by winning their respective divisions during the regular season.

Blue Springs Post 499/Fike had to win its Zone 2 East Tournament on Sunday to make the trip, and did so in dramatic fashion as Austin Nordike drove home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of an 8-7 victory over Sedalia Post 642.

Now, the three area teams that are located within a few miles of each other, make the daily trek to Sedalia starting today to find out who will claim the zone championship and move on to state.

“I was talking to Clyde (Kubli, longtime area baseball coach who works with the A’s) today at lunch,” Post 21 manager Tom Bush said, “and we were talking about three teams that are a few miles apart, who have a great place to play (Hidden Valley Park) and we have to keep driving to Sedalia,” said Bush, whose team finished in second place in the Zone 2 West Division Tournament at the Independence Athletic Complex.

“It’s part of the game, I guess. Lee’s Summit and St. Joseph have to drive a ways too, so I’m not complaining. It would just be nice to have it here in Blue Springs.”

Rooney agreed, adding, “Plus, three of the best teams are in the same bracket – us, Post 21 and Fike. Sedalia is in the other bracket with Lee’s Summit (Hawthorn Bank Outlaws) and St. Joseph. I’m not taking anything away from those teams because you’re a good team, when you’ve made it this far, but one or two very good teams are going to have one or two losses in our bracket early in the tournament.”

Bush was disappointed with his team’s second-place finish in the Zone 2 West Tournament, but said, “That will get the boys fired up for zone. We went into last week’s tournament wanting to win it, and we’re approaching this week’s tournament the same way.

“We have stretches where we play six or seven really good games in a row, and then we have a bad game or two. We don’t want those bad games in Sedalia.”

The A’s will be playing without hitting sensation Kyle Reed, who will be sitting with a wrist injury.

“That will hurt,” Rooney said, “but injuries are part of baseball. We lose Kyle, but we get Spencer Schwandt back, and he’s been one of our better pitchers. Lose a guy to injury, get back a guy from injury – it all kind of evens out.”

A confident Fike team enters the tournament following a 4-0 showing in the Zone 2 East Tournament.

“The guys found a way to get it done,” Fike manager Jim Moran said. “You saw just about anything could see in that (championship) 8-7 victory over Sedalia and we might see them again, who knows.”

The A’s and Post 21 face off at 5 p.m. today and Fike plays the winner at 10 a.m. Friday.

“The winner of that 10 a.m. Friday game is done for the day,” Moran said. “The loser has to stick around and play again later that afternoon so both teams are really going to want to get a win so they don’t have to spend the day trying to find something to do before the next game.”

It will be an extra busy week for Moran as his Junior Fike team will play in the Junior American Legion State Tournament at Hidden Valley.

“I’m so pleased to have a bye the first day in Sedalia so I can watch our younger kids,” Moran said. “I can’t say enough good things about Steve Workman and his coaches. They have done an amazing job with that junior team. This is their fourth year and this is their fourth year at state.”