Region 4B Legion tourney kicks off todayEven heading into the Region 4B Legion tournament with a 15-1 record, Tabor head coach Ken Ranek said his team doesn’t think of itself as the favorite.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
Even heading into the Region 4B Legion tournament with a 15-1 record, Tabor head coach Ken Ranek said his team doesn’t think of itself as the favorite.
“I figured we’ll have a target on our back, but I see it as an equal field and it all depends who shines on any given day,” Ranek said.
“All I know is there are a couple good teams that are just as worthy as we are to go to the state tournament and hopefully we can play good baseball and be rewarded.”
The Region 4B tournament begins today in Corsica with a champion and state tournament berth coming Saturday or Sunday.
Tabor’s first matchup comes against a familiar opponent in Corsica.
Corsica enters the regional tournament with an 8-2 record, with both losses coming to Tabor.
“We’re going to have to be on the top of our game to beat them,” Corsica coach Bob Bamberg said.
The other first-round matchup has Irene taking on Platte/Geddes. The winner of that contest faces off with Lesterville/Scotland.
Platte/Geddes coach Jeff Kuipers said his team has some confidence built up heading into the tournament.
“We just came off winning a tournament in Deadwood,” Kuipers said. “It gave them a little confidence knowing they can do it in a three-day period.”
Platte/Geddes comes into postseason play with an 11-10 record and Kuipers said the team has been close in many of its losses.
“Our biggest deal all year has been timely hitting and we just need to get that,” he said. “We’ve been struggling to get it.”
Kuipers said the team’s pitching rotation has also suffered after the loss of Michael Buitenbos.
Buitenbos has been dealing with an elbow injury and has not been able to pitch for the team but has stayed with the team and gotten at-bats.
“He’s kind of a leader so it’s nice to have him around,” Kuipers said.
The region tournament is a double-elimination bracket, but if a team loses in the opening round it would need to win five straight to claim the title.
“If you get into that loser’s bracket there are a lot of games you’ve got to come back from and you burn through a lot of pitching,” Bamberg said. “It’s a tough road if you get in that bracket with a lot of games.”
The first round games take place today with Irene and Platte/Geddes facing off at 5 p.m. in Corsica and the Tabor and Corsica game begins 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.
Records for Irene and Lesterville/Scotland were not reported to The Daily Republic.