Road to state legion tournament begins

For the first time ever, all three Tri-City American Legion baseball teams will compete in the same state-qualifying tournament. The Sub-State 8 playoffs take place this week and feature Tri-City Red, Tri-City Blue and Tri-City Maroon.

The folks who govern Legion baseball in Minnesota decided over the winter to scrap the district set-up as it pertains to qualifying for the state tournament. In its place is the “Sub-State” model, which divides all the teams in the state into eight or nine-team groups that hold a double-elimination tournament to determine 15 of the 16 entries into the state tournament. The 16th berth goes to the tournament host, which this year is defending state champion Edina.

Here’s a look at where each of the Tri-City teams stand heading into the post-season.

Tri-City Red

For the first time since 2008, Tri-City Red is the favorite to reach the state tournament out of its playoff group. Red won the regular-season Fourth District title with a perfect 16-0 record and was seeded No. 1 by the Sub-State 8 coaches.

The undefeated regular-season was the first in the Fourth District in more than 20 years.

In addition to the district title, Tri-City Red also won a tournament championship last weekend by going a perfect 3-0 at the 44th-annual Princeton Tournament. Tri-City beat Princeton 9-0 in the quarterfinals on Friday, River Falls 7-5 in the semifinals on Saturday and Lino Lakes 10-0 in six innings in the finals on Sunday.

The title is Red’s ninth in the history of the tournament and that is the most by one team. It also marks the third time that Tri-City has won the tournament in back-to-back years. Redís other Princeton titles came in 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012.

Red entered the post-season with an overall regular-season record of 27-6 and riding a six-game winning streak. Prior to the three wins at Princeton, Red closed out the district schedule last week with wins over Hamline Purple, Maplewood Green and White Bear.

Red opened the sub-state playoffs on Tuesday night, past the deadline for this edition of the Bulletin.

Tri-City Blue

For a while this summer, Tri-City Blue was having as good a season as it has produced in a while. Things started going south after Independence Day, however, and Blue is sputtering entering the post-season.

Tri-City closed out the regular season on an eight-game losing streak to drop its overall record to 8-12. Prior to the Fourth of July, Blue was 8-4 after starting the season 4-0.

Despite the dropoff at the end of the regular season, Tri-City still managed to get the sixth seed out of nine teams and opened the sub-state tournament Tuesday against third-seeded Forest Lake. That game took place past the deadline for this edition of the Bulletin.

Regardless of what happened against Forest Lake, Tri-City Blue is back in action on Wednesday, either at 7 p.m. at Midway Stadium or at 2 p.m. at White Bear South. The double-elimination tournament continues through Saturday.

Tri-City Maroon

Tri-City Maroon head coach Noah Nesler said earlier this summer that his team was still searching for an identity. It never really found one as it finished 6-10 in the Fourth District and seventh in the district standings.

Maroon ended up seeded eighth in Sub-State 8 and opened the post-season on Monday against ninth-seeded White Bear in the play-in game. The loser of that game had its season come to and end while the winner advanced to the double-elimination portion of the tournament.

Tri-City tried to gather some momentum prior to the post-season as it went 2-2 in the final week of the regular season. Maroon knocked off White Bear and Arcade-Phalen, the two teams it finished ahead of in the district standings, and lost to Maplewood Green and North St. Paul.

Updates

For playoff updates throughout the week, go to Lillienews.com and click on the “Sports” tab.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.
 

Fourth District standings (Final)
  W-L Games behind
Tri-City Red 16-0 -
*Hamline Purple 11-4 4 1/2
North St. Paul 11-5 5
*Maplewood Green 10-5 5 1/2
Hamline Red 7-9 8 1/2
Rosetown 7-9 9
Tri-City Maroon 6-10 10
White Bear 2-14 14
Arcade-Phalen 1-15 15
*Hamline Purple vs. Maplewood Green game scheduled for July 21 was cancelled due to a lack of a playable field.

 

American Legion Sub-State 8 playoffs
(Seeds in parentheses)

First round, Monday, July 22, 5 p.m. at Midway Stadium
White Bear (9) vs. Tri-City Maroon (8)

Second round, Tuesday, July 23
Game 1 — Tri-City Blue (6) vs. Forest Lake (3), 2 p.m. at White Bear South
Game 2 — Chisago Lakes (7) vs. Lino Lakes (2), 5 p.m. at White Bear South
Game 3 — Stillwater (5) vs. Maplewood Green (4), 5 p.m. at Midway Stadium
Game 4 — Tri-City Maroon/White Bear winner vs. Tri-City Red (1), 8 p.m. at Midway Stadium

Third round, Wednesday, July 24
Game 5 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2 p.m. at White Bear South
Game 6 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 5 p.m. at White Bear South
Game 7 — Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5 p.m. at Midway Stadium
Game 8 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8 p.m. at Midway Stadium

Fourth round, Thursday, July 25
Game 9 — Game 7 loser vs. Game 6 winner, 5 p.m. at Midway Stadium
Game 10 — Game 8 loser vs. Game 5 winner, 5 p.m. at Midway Stadium
Game 11 — Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8 p.m. at Midway Stadium

Fifth round, Friday, July 26
Game 12 — Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 2 p.m. at White Bear South

Loser’s bracket final, Friday, July 26
Game 13 — Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 winner, 5 p.m. at White Bear South

Championship round, Saturday, July 27
Game 14 — Game 11 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 12 p.m. at White Bear South
Second game, if necessary, to follow immediately
 

 

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