Post 63 to host Zone 4 Junior Legion tourney

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Cape Girardeau Plaza Tire Junior American Legion baseball team will try to duplicate its district tournament magic this week.

If Post 63 is successful, a trip to state will be the reward.

Cape, last week's surprise District 14 tournament champion, will host the four-team Zone 4 tournament today through Saturday at Central High School.

The winner of the double-elimination event advances to next week's state tournament in Sedalia.

"We're excited about hosting the zone," said Steve Williams, Cape's assistant coach under manager Todd Pennington. "It should be a very good tournament."

Cape was seeded fourth for the District 14 tournament in Kennett, but Post 63 ran through the double-elimination event without a loss.

"We've had a decent year and we played real good down at Kennett," said Williams, who also is Central's baseball coach. "Hopefully we'll keep playing good this week.

"I think we expected to have a pretty good team. The main goal we had was just try to improve. Our kids really bought into that and now it's paying off for us."

Cape carries a 26-17 record into today's 1 p.m. tournament opener against Ste. Genevieve (22-3).

Anheuser-Busch (15-7) and Brentwood (20-7) square off in the other first-round matchup, at 4 p.m.

There will be three games Friday, with the title contest set for 1 p.m. Saturday.

Ste. Genevieve is coached by former Southeast Missouri State standout and major leaguer Steve Bieser, a Ste. Genevieve native.

Bieser, who completed his collegiate eligibility in 1989, played in 60 major league games in 1997 and 1998. He currently coaches at Vianney High School in suburban St. Louis.

"I don't really know much about the other teams," Williams said. "I'm sure Ste. Genevieve has a good squad. All the teams should be good."

Cape's 18-man roster consists of players who will be entering either their sophomore or junior year of high school. Ten go to Central while eight attend Notre Dame.

According to Williams, among Cape's top hitters this summer have been Jacob Conklin, Jamie Pickel, Josh Hiett and Eric Hayes.

Conklin is batting better than .400, with a team-high five home runs, Williams said.

Pickel, Josh Meyer, Andrew Williams and Ronnie Scott lead the pitching staff.

Steve Williams said Scott will start today, with Pickel getting the nod Friday.

"I think if we play like we're capable, we'll have as good a chance as anybody of winning the tournament," Williams said.

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