The field is set for the South Carolina American Legion baseball championship.
The Final four teams – Fort Mill Post 43 and Greer Post 166 from the Upper State and Florence Post 1 and Sumter Post 15 from the Lower State – will converge upon Segra Park in Columbia for the second straight year. The three-day, double-elimination tournament will begin Wednesday.
Before arriving in the capital city, the finalists faced each other Monday with the road teams coming out on top. Greer blanked Fort Mill 4-0 at Nation Ford High School, while Florence held off Sumter 4-3 at Riley Park.
Fort Mill (19-3) and Sumter (24-10) will face each other in Columbia at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the elimination game. Florence (34-4) and Greer (19-7) will then play in the winners’ game at 7 p.m.
The Fort Mill/Sumter winner will face the Florence/Greer loser in a 7 p.m. elimination game Thursday. The two winners will then meet at 4 p.m. Friday and in a 7 p.m. contest, if necessary, to determine the champion.
The two finalists will advance to the regional championships Aug. 6-11 in Tampa, FL.
This year’s tournament will be dedicated to former N.Y. Yankees star and South Carolina native Bobby Richardson. A product of American Legion baseball, the Sumter native went on to win three World Series with the Yankees.
“Bobby Richardson is a reminder of the value of Legion ball and all it has to offer young athletes,” said Billy Oswald, an organizer of the tournament and athletic director for West Columbia Post 79.
“The American Legion baseball program can play an important role in the lives of its participants. In addition to vital practice and conditioning during the off-season for school sports, it’s a source of scholarship money for many college-bound athletes,” Oswald said. “And it promotes character, sportsmanship, goodwill and teamwork – values embodied by Bobby Richardson.”
More than 1,500 young people statewide participate in the American Legion baseball program.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. All youth baseball players will be admitted at no charge.