Rain continues to push back Region 5 Legion baseball tournament

By Dave Rosengrant - For Times Leader
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For the second time in three days, the American Legion Region 5 Tournament was washed out on Tuesday and was pushed back to Wednesday at the Pittston Area Primary Center in Hughestown.

Now, the schedule gets complicated with perhaps four games needing to be played to finish the bracket. State rules are that all state qualifiers must be declared by the end of Wednesday, but with wacky weather all over the state, that’s been pushed back to Thursday.

That makes for a short turnaround for regional winners advancing to the state tournament at Bear Stadium in Boyertown on Saturday. Registration and the Hall of Fame Dinner are Friday night in Boyertown. With more rain in the forecast for today, the task of completing the bracket is even tougher.

Tuesday’s postponements came after Sunday was also washed out due to unplayable conditions at Mid Valley High School and Washington Street Field in Throop following heavy rain on Saturday.

The weather-permitting schedule for Wednesday will start at 10 a.m. with Berwick taking on Dickson City in an elimination game. At 12:30 p.m., Mountain Post takes on Swoyersville. The two winners will square off 20 minutes following the conclusion of the second game in what could be a championship game.

The complications occur if Mountain Post defeats Swoyersville, which is the only unbeaten team in the double-elimination tournament. That would leave three teams remaining with two games still to be played. Another factor is if Swoyersville beats Mountain Post but was to lose in its second game of the day, then a winner-take-all contest would be needed.

First, the weather needs to clear up to allow for baseball to be played. If not, there’s a possibility that Swoyersville advances to the state tournament due to being the only unbeaten team remaining.

“We may go into Thursday if there is one game left,” said Region 5 Director and Wyoming Valley League president Jerry Ranieli. “Although we are trying to avoid the Swoyersville scenario, if we don’t play Wednesday, that in fact may happen.”

Region 5 is not the only regional in the state being hampered by weather issues. Region 4, in the Harrisburg area, has only completed one full day of games and had possibly nine games remaining in the bracket after being washed out for the third straight day on Tuesday. That bracket has changed to single-elimination and all remaining games will be played on Thursday.

Region 3, which is from the southern part of the state in between the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, had seven games remaining of a potential 15 on Tuesday afternoon.

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By Dave Rosengrant

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports