Those late-inning Senior Legion rallies will have to come earlier in 2018.
That’s because Ninth District games now will go seven innings rather than the standard nine.
Former Washington Post 218 Manager Tom Schroeder, now treasurer of the Ninth District Board, said that’s one of the changes for this year’s upcoming season.
Also at the Senior Legion level, there will be re-entry for players similar to what is in place for the Freshman and Junior levels. This, however, will end before the playoffs start.
The move to shorten games comes after a combination of happenings. The American Legion World Series games were shortened to seven innings and more adjustments in the pitch count regulations have caused teams to push for shorter games as well.
The new pitch count limits are in step with what the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is using with the high schools. The limits will be the same as what MSHSAA schools are using this season.
There are other changes as well.
The Ninth District is scheduled to have 11 Senior Legion, 13 Junior Legion and 13 Freshman Legion teams this season. That list includes Hannibal Post 55, which will play at all three levels within the Ninth District. In recent years, Hannibal has participated in the Ninth District in the Freshman and Junior levels, but the Senior team played in a different district.
Another change is that St. Charles Post 312 and Wentzville Post 323 will each field two teams at the Senior Legion level.
St. Charles will have its teams based out of St. Charles and St. Charles West. Wentzville is terming its teams as Post 323 North (based out of Holt) and Post 323 South (based out of Timberland).
There will be three Franklin County Senior Legion teams this season with Washington Post 218, Union Post 297 and New Haven Post 366 sponsoring teams. Sullivan Post 18 had planned to play at the Senior Legion level, but recently dropped.
Other teams will be Warrenton VFW Post 2180, Elsberry Post 226 and St. Peters Post 323.
The Junior Legion level is the most popular this season. Seven of those teams are representing this area. They are Washington Post 218, Union Post 297, St. Clair Post 347, New Haven Post 366, Sullivan Post 18, Rosebud Post 587 and Rhineland Post 147.
The other Junior Legion teams are Elsberry Post 226, West, St. Charles Post 312, Wentzville Post 323, Hannibal Post 55 and St. Peters Post 313.
There could be as many as 13 Freshman Legion teams this season in the Ninth District.
St. Clair Post 347 had been scheduled to field a team, but recently withdrew its entry due to injuries.
That leaves area teams at Washington Post 218, Union Post 297, Pacific Post 320, Pacific Post 402, New Haven Post 366, Sullivan Post 18, Rosebud Post 587 and Rhineland Post 147.
The other teams are Elsberry Post 226, Hannibal Post 55, St. Charles Post 312 and Warrenton VFW Post 2180.
The situation in Pacific is where things could change. Pacific High School Head Coach Jeff Reed is taking over a program at Post 320, which sponsored Pacific teams for years.
Pacific Post 402, which has been the sponsor in recent years also is fielding a Freshman Legion team.
Washington has been named as the Freshman Legion State Tournament host this year. Post 218 last hosted the state tournament in 2014.