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Championship set at Senior American Legion baseball tournament

Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012, at 2:44 PM

Staff Photo by Dustin Ward
Dunklin County's Dustin Spencer (right) and coach Jamie Johnson eye home plate from near third base with the Dunklin County dugout in the background. Dunklin County begins play in the district 14 legion baseball tournament Friday at Jackson. Dunklin County will play Sikeston at 7 p.m. in its first game at the four-team double-elimination tournament.
Jackson Legion will play Cape Girardeau Legion Sunday in the District 14 Senior American Legion baseball championship at Legion Field in Jackson

View an updated schedule / results for the tournament below:

Friday (July 20)

Game 1 - Jackson 15, Cape Girardeau 4 (7 Innings)

Game 2 - Dunklin County wins by forfeit vs. Sikeston Legion

Saturday (July 21)

Game 3 - Cape Girardeau wins by forfeit vs. Sikeston Legion

Game 4 - Jackson 8, Dunklin County 4

Game 5 - Cape Girardeau 4, Dunklin County 2, 7 (loser of Game 5 is eliminated)

Sunday (July 22)

Game 6 - Cape Girardeau vs. Jackson(championship), 4 p.m.

Game 7 - Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser (If-necessary championship), 7

Dunklin County Post 303 Legacy Equipment will begin its quest for its fourth district championship in the past six seasons Friday at Jackson.

Dunklin County has received the No. 1 seed in the four-team double-elimination tournament. Dunklin County will play Sikeston Legion Friday at 7 p.m. in its first game at the 3-day tournament.

Dunklin County finished (5-1) in regular-season district play and won the regular-season district title for a second straight season. Second-seeded Jackson finished (4-2). Cape Girardeau went (3-3) and Sikeston was (0-6).

Dunklin County defeated Jackson in a winner-take-all district championship last season.

Dunklin County enters the tournament with a (21-12) record and has won 12 of its past 15 games. Jackson is (33-15).

"Not a bad regular season," Dunklin County coach Jamie Johnson said following Tuesday's final regular-season game against Paragould, Ark.. "All the work is done and now the money is on the line.

"It's still going to come down to which team is going to come out and play hard and well at the right time," Johnson continued. "Any of the four teams could win it. We'd like for it to be us, but it's baseball. We will see what type of effort we bring to the tournament."

Third-seeded Cape Girardeau, which is the only team besides Dunklin County to win the district 14 tournament since 2007, has a 15-27 record and has lost 21 of its past 24 games.

Cape Girardeau Legion will automatically qualify for next week's zone tournament at Capaha Park in Cape Girardeau, Mo., regardless of how it performs in its district tournament. Cape Girardeau receives an automatic birth in the five-team zone tournament because it is the host.

Dunklin County, Jackson and Sikeston must win its district to qualify for the zone tournament unless Cape Girardeau wins the district. If Cape Girardeau wins the district Dunklin County, Jackson or Sikeston would qualify for the zone tournament if it finished second in the district.

"It's any team's district," Cape Girardeau coach Steve Williams said following Saturday's game at Dunklin County. "All four teams are solid. I think three of the four teams probably have a little better chance and any one of those teams could probably win it. It's wide open and the team that plays the best that day will probably win."

Cape Girardeau Legion will play host Jackson Friday at 4 p.m. in its first game at the tournament.

Three games are slated for Saturday. Championship games will take place Sunday.

All legion playoff games are nine-inning games with a 10-run-rule in effect after seven innings.

View a complete schedule for the tournament below:

Friday (July 20)

Game 1 -- Jackson vs. Cape, 4 p.m.

Game 2 -- Dunklin County vs. Sikeston, 7

Saturday (July 21)

Game 3 -- Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1 p.m.

Game 4 -- Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 4

Game 5 -- Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 7

Sunday (July 22)

Game 6 -- Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner (championship), 4 p.m.

Game 7 -- Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser (If-necessary championship), 7

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Dustin Ward has been the sports editor at Daily Statesman in Dexter, Mo., since August 2013.

Ward graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in psychology. He also has 21-hour concentration in environmental science, social studies and education.

Ward started following sports in southeast Missouri when he was five-years-old in 1991. In the 2009-10 basketball season, he watched 84 varsity basketball teams play a total of 147 varsity games. He has also attended the state basketball, baseball and volleyball tournaments the last three seasons. His favorite baseball memory is watching the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series.

Ward completed an internship in the summer of 2010 at semoball.com. During the internship he had the opportunity to visit and photograph the athletic facilities at all 58 semoball schools. He also researched the district and state championship histories of 55 schools and used the Cover it Live application to cover the Senior Babe Ruth state baseball tournament. After the internship he served as sports editor at Daily Dunklin Democrat in Kennett, Mo., from 2011-2013.