A year ago, Madison Post 9 entered sectional play with one goal and that single-mindedness ended up costing the Niners a shot at the title.

This year, Madison plans on playing it more conservatively with an eye toward advancing to the next round.

Post 9 opens sectional play today with a matchup against Floyd Knobs Post 42 at Floyds Knobs High School. The winner will take on Seymour Post 89 on Saturday.

The double-elimination tournament is now a three-team affair after Vevay Post 185 dropped out Thursday morning. Two of three teams left will advance to the regional.

It is the same scenario that Madison faced a year ago. But the Niners were unable to get by Floyd in the opener and ended up getting eliminated after a loss to Seymour in game three.

"The thing about legion baseball is, it's double-elimination so you don't have to win that first game but you want to be there at the end," Madison manager Tim Armstrong said. "It's kind of like a survival technique. You want to have your best at the end."

Armstrong threw every pitcher he had at Floyd a year ago yet Madison still dropped the opener. By the time game two came around, the Niners had little left against Seymour.

It's a situation that Armstrong does not want to repeat, especially when one win will probably get you into the regional.

"We threw everybody at Floyd last year and when we faced Seymour we were done," Armstrong said. "We don't want to do that this year."

Floyds Knobs is the clear favorite, especially considering it gets to play on its home field. Floyd hammered Madison 14-0 earlier in the season but the Niners picked up a bit of revenge when they scored a 5-2 win two weeks ago.

Having gained a split of the season series gives Madison reason to be confident, but Armstrong was quick to note that Post 9 split the season series last year as well.

"Floyd has a heck of a team. They can pitch and they can hit the ball," Armstrong said. "When we beat them here they were 17-4 at the time with wins against some pretty good teams. But they're definitely the team to beat."

While Legion baseball has always been a hitting league, the key to winning any baseball tournament is pitching. Even in a three-team league, a team could play as many as five games in three days to score the win.

As a result, Madison will need its pitchers to step up and deliver quality innings, if not wins. Switzerland County's Collin Burgess will pitch the opener tonight with Austin's Aaron McIntosh and Scottsburg's Trevor Tutterow ready for games two and three.

But Armstrong was quick to note that the chances of Madison getting through the tournament having used just three pitchers is slim to none.

"We don't have anybody that can go all nine innings so we're going to need every pitcher we have," Armstrong said. "We had everybody working in the bullpen today to get ready. Collin will start us off and we'll have Aaron and Trevor after him. Hopefully we'll be there on Sunday."



Sectional Tournament

at Floyd Central HS


Friday, July 19

Game 1 - Madison Post 9 vs. Floyds Knobs Post 42, 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 20

Game 2 - Seymour Post 89 vs. Winner Game 1, noon

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

Sunday, July 21


Game 4 - Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 1 p.m.

Game 5 - Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 4, 4 p.m. (if necessary)