The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 24, 2013

Double A American Legion tourney starts today in Joplin

The Double A Joplin American Legion baseball team faces a rugged assignment today in the five-team, double-elimination State Tournament.

Joplin is the host team in the event presented by the Joplin Sports Authority at Joe Becker Stadium.

 The Miners, 18-14 under Jon Stark and Ryan Zengel, open the four-game session at noon against defending champion Blue Springs Post 499/Fike (29-16).

“We understand the challenge,” Stark said Wednesday. “We just want to come out and play like we’re capable ... and see how it goes.”

The second game at 2:30 p.m. is Washington Post 218 (29-2) vs. Springfield Glendale (27-14).

Ste. Genevieve Post 150 (24-1) meets the Joplin-Blue Springs Post 499/Fike winner at 5.

The first losers’ contest at 7:30 will cap today’s schedule.

Friday’s schedule has the winners’ bracket final at 1 p.m. and losers’ bracket games at 3:30 and 6.

The championship could be settled at noon on Saturday. Another game, if necessary, will be played at 3.

Admission prices are $4 for adults and $2 for students. There is no charge for 12-and-under.

The Missouri American Legion Double A finals will conclude the Century of Baseball Celebration at Joe Becker, according to the JSA.

The winner advances to Carthage and Carl Lewton Stadium next week to join the host Merchants and six other teams for the Midwest Regional.

‘ROYALTy’ coming

Fred Patek, former All-Star shortstop for the Kansas City Royals, is an assistant for Blue Springs Post 499/Fike and is expected to make the trip, according to coach Stacy Messner.

Messner said Patek has a grandson who probably will try out for the 2014 team.

Former Royal infielder Bill Pecota’s son, Nate, is out with an injury.

Post 499/Fike last season finished 2-2 in regional competition at Fargo, N.D.

In a hurry to get here?

Blue Springs, Glendale, Washington and Ste. Genevieve swept in zone play.

Glendale, Blue Springs and Washington, however, did have squeakers.

Glendale had to rally at Carl Junction with five runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat the Lamar Southwest Tigers 10-9 to advance at 3-0.

Blue Springs, in its zone opener, erased deficits of 3-1, 8-3 and 12-8 before beating Sedalia 13-12. Post 499/Fike then beat Fort Osage 5-4 and 9-2.

Washington beat Hannibal and Jefferson City twice (9-2, 5-4).

Those losses

Washington lost back-to-back games to Pacific and Ballwin early in the season.

Ste. Genevieve lost 3-2 to a team at a St. Louis tournament.

Said Post 150 coach Cody Schmelzle with a laugh: “I couldn’t make the game. So I’ve been blaming my assistants for the loss.”

Sarcoxie connection

Christopher Mettlach, a 2007 graduate of Sarcoxie High School, is coaching Glendale.

Mettlach, 24, has been an assistant at Glendale High School the past three years. He’s a Missouri State graduate

He’ll be at Pierce City High School in 2013-14 to assist in baseball and football. Plus, the son of Chris and Joe Mettlach will coach boys and girls junior high basketball.

Tucker Mettlach, Christopher’s brother, is playing for Triple A Glendale. He’ll be a senior at Sarcoxie.

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