Post 202 says it doesn’t want its season to end. It plans on winning the District 8 championship and more this year.
“We want it pretty bad,” said Scott Dunwoody, Post 202’s designated hitter. “We lost to (Jefferson City Post 5) a couple of times this year already. It seems like they’ve had our number lately, but we plan on changing that.”
Post 202 (21-9) begins play in the tournament at 6:30 tonight against Centralia Post 113 (10-5) at the American Legion Sports Complex in Jefferson City.
Post 202 won the district title in 2002, but Post 5 won it last year and is the No. 1 seed this year. Post 202 is the No. 2 seed and Post 113 is No. 3.
These three teams make up the double-elimination tournament. The winner of tonight’s game will face the Post 5 (31-9, 4-0)at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The competition continues through Thursday or Friday. The district winner will advance to the Zone 1 tournament in Moberly next week to play for a spot in the state championships Aug. 5-7 at Sedalia’s Liberty Park.
Post 202 coach Jim Dapkus said he will start Lance Rodeman or Josh Terry tonight.
“Mentally, I have been preparing,” Rodeman said. “Physically, not really. I’ve been in Canada and registering for college, but I will be ready.”
Post 202 won 27-10 against Post 113 on July 15. Dunwoody said he thinks Post 202 can win in the tournament if it plays the same kind of game.
“We went through our entire lineup and had our bats going,” Dunwoody said. “Hitting, that’s going to be our strong point in the tournament.”
Rodeman has never faced Post 113 but said his teammates will help him.
“A bunch of our guys are really good scouts,” Rodeman said. “Sharp guys who can pick up on swings and stances. I’ll look to them for help if I need it.”
Dapkus said he hopes Post 202 can continue to play well, but he said he can’t predict what will happen.
“You really don’t know,” Dapkus said. “Baseball is a funny game. We’re not worried about it. We’re just trying to focus on what we can do.”
Dunwoody and shortstop Jake Kemper are not strangers to big game situations. They played on the 2002 championship team. Their experience could help Post 202..
“I hope so,” Dapkus said. “I really think this time of year it boils down to what teams really want to continue.”
Dunwoody will get a chance to lead the team.
“I think we have a little more postseason experience,” Dunwoody said. “We’ve been there before so we know what to do.”
Dapkus said he wants his players to finish the season without any regrets.
“This week could dictate what they remember four or five years down the road,” Dapkus said. “I hope they play nice and relaxed like they have all season.”