BANGOR, Maine — Monday evening’s final slate of regular-season games in the American Legion Zone 1 baseball ranks could have offered plenty of potential chaos given that postseason play is scheduled less than 24 hours later at Husson University.
Figuring out any and all possible tie-breaking scenarios as any season nears its conclusion has been a rite of annual anguish for those who must accommodate such predicaments.
But that’s all wasted energy this year, as the baseball gods have been kind to Zone 1 commissioner Dave Paul and the playoff field is already set, with just one minor seeding issue to be determined.
Bangor (16-2) has followed up its state championship run during the Class A high school season with a dominant run through the Zone 1 ranks to date. Coach Dave Morris’ club, which rose from the runner-up spot in the zone to a third-place finish at the 2013 American Legion state tournament, has concluded its regular-season schedule and is this year’s top seed in the zone tourney.
Trenton and Brewer entered Monday’s play tied for second place with 12-5 records, with Trenton slated to play at Motor City of Bangor and Brewer hosting Penquis of Dover-Foxcroft.
If both teams win or lose, Trenton would finish second and Brewer third because Trenton defeated Brewer in two of their three regular-season meetings, Paul said.
Penquis (9-8) has clinched fourth place and Motor City (7-10) will finish fifth ahead of Hampden (3-14) and Waldo (1-16).
Penquis and Motor City will open the Zone 1 tournament with a play-in game at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Winkin Complex, with the winner advancing to the four-team, double-elimination phase of the event that begins Wednesday.
Trenton and Brewer will meet in Wednesday’s first game at 4 p.m., followed at 7 when Bangor faces the Penquis-Motor City survivor.
Play will continue with two games each evening at least through Friday, when the zone’s two representatives to the state tournament will be determined. Zone 1 automatically will get two berths in the state tourney this year by virtue of being the host zone for that event, which will be held at Husson University from Wednesday, July 30, through Sunday, Aug. 3.
If the zone champion is not determined Friday night, an if-necessary game will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday.
That game will follow two play-in games for the state tournament slated for earlier in the day. The runners-up from Zone 2 (Central Maine) and Zone 4 (Portland area) will play at 11 a.m., followed at 3 p.m. by a battle of the runners-up from Zone 3 (Western Maine) and Zone 5 (York County).
Those two play-in game winners will join the two Zone 1 representatives and the other four zone champions from around the state at the eight-team state tournament.
Bangor Jr. Legion seeded second
The first-year Bangor Cadets have been seeded second for the 16-team Junior American Legion baseball state tournament that begins this week.
Coach Tim Bush’s club finished regular-season play with a 15-3 record good for first place in the state’s Eastern Division, three games ahead of second-place Fairfield Post 14.
Bangor was seeded second statewide behind only Cumberland Division champion South Portland, which also finished 15-3.
Play-in games are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday to narrow the postseason field to eight teams. The tournament then continues with best-of-3 series Saturday through Monday leading to a four-team, double-elimination championship round tentatively scheduled for Aug. 1-3 at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach.
The four teams to emerge from the two play-in rounds will be reseeded 5-8, with second-ranked Bangor set to face the ultimate No. 7 seed. The Cadets will host the first game of that series Saturday at Mahaney Diamond on the campus of the University of Maine in Orono, then play on the road Sunday before possibly hosting an if-necessary game Monday.