For the last two months baseball fields in the area have been full each night with Mineral Area Baseball Association teams holding practices or playing games. Now many fields are silent from those teams playing as the regular season has ended, but for the fields in Farmington and Frankclay, it’s not over yet.
With the exception of the Bantam League which just finished their tournament this past week, the other five leagues have representative All-Star teams participating in post-season tournaments. There are two leagues which have two teams playing and there are also three age-classified teams which did not have a league just for their age.
Already two teams have had to play in their district tournaments with both advancing to their respective state tournaments.
A total of 10 teams will be playing in tournaments either ending or starting this weekend, and locally five of those teams will be playing at either Frankclay or Farmington.
Starting today, the state tournament for Junior Babe Ruth, 15-year-old district winners in Missouri is being held at Wilson Rozier Park in Farmington, and it is scheduled to conclude on Sunday or possibly Monday.
Eight teams will be representing the different areas of the state, seven of which, Marshall, Mineral Area Nationals, S.W. Ozark, Lebanon, Boonville, Jefferson City, and Portageville, are district champions. The Mineral Area Americans received an open invitation to the tournament as the host team.
The Mineral Area Nationals earned their way into the state tournament by winning the district tournament in Frankclay this past weekend. The Nationals have their bats ready as they scored 53 runs in their three district games. They will open the tournament in the 12 p.m. game against Marshall.
S.W Ozark and Lebanon will play the second game at 2:30 p.m. The third game at 5 p.m. will have Boonville vs. Jefferson City, and the last game will have the Mineral Area Americans playing Portageville at 7:30 p.m.
In between the third and fourth games there will be an Opening Ceremony for the tournament which will include introductions of the teams and players.
Tournament play will resume on Thursday and Friday with four games scheduled for each day, since the tournament is a double-elimination format meaning if a team loses a game they still have a chance to win the championship. They just can’t lose again or they are out. The game times for all three days are the same.
Only two games are scheduled for Saturday with only three teams left in the tournament at that time. The winner of the first game will advance from the loser’s bracket to play the winner of the winner’s bracket in the championship game, but if they win again in the second game, a one-game finale will be held on Sunday at 1 p.m. Saturday’s games will be at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Meanwhile over at Frankclay, the 14-year old district tournament will be going on with two Mineral Area teams also in that tournament. The Mineral Area Nationals will play Jackson at 6 p.m. on Thursday, and if they win they will face Cape Girardeau on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
The Mineral Area Americans will face SEMO South at 3 p.m. on Friday, and if both teams win their Friday games they will meet in the semi-final game of the winner’s bracket, insuring at least one Mineral Area team will be in the championship game to be played on Sunday at 1 p.m.
On Saturday, Farmington will have even a bigger treat as the Midwest Regional Tournament will be held at the Farmington Sports Complex for the Cal Ripken Minors (10-year-olds). Again the Mineral Area team will be in the tournament because their city is the host city for the tournament.
Again eight teams will be present and ready to play and represent their respective states. The teams are Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri #1, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri #2, Kansas #2, and Mineral Area. The next step from Regionals is straight to the Cal Ripken Minor World Series.
The games start at 11 a.m. on Saturday and end on Tuesday at 8 p.m., unless the extra championship game is needed which will be played on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
The other five teams will be playing away from the area. The Senior Babe Ruth team will be in the state tournament at Dexter and will play their first game on Friday against Jefferson City at 11 a.m. The 16 year old state tournament is being held at Jefferson City with the Mineral Area team (the Diamond Dawgs) playing MO Valley at 4 p.m. on Friday for their first game. If they win they will. Play again at 9 p.m.
The 13-year-old Mineral Area All-Stars are scheduled to play at Monet, Missouri in their state tournament on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. against S.W. Missouri. However, a known cancellation may mean a redrawing of the bracket.
The Cal Ripken (10-12 year-olds) district tournament will be held in Oran, Missouri with the Mineral Area Americans playing Cape Girardeau on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and the Nationals playing Scott City at 8 p.m.