Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Montgomery Division playoff field ready to go

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 by James Peters Staff Writer Gaithersburg Gazete www.gazette.net

The field for the 2009 Montgomery Division American Legion baseball tournament was set this past weekend, as the regular season concluded with a flurry of make-up games. The tournament began Tuesday, too late to be included in this edition, and will conclude Sunday at Damascus Regional Park.

Gaithersburg Post 295 (21-5, 19-5 Montgomery Division) claimed the regular season title. Sandy Spring Post 68 (18-5) secured the No. 2 seed in just its second year of existence.

Gaithersburg Post 104 (16-8) returns to the playoffs as the No. 3 seed after missing postseason play a year ago, while Laurel Post 60 (14-12, 13-11) finished fourth.

Sandy Spring actually bested Post 295 in two out of three games this year and would have grabbed the No. 1 seed with one more win. The team's scheduled game Friday against Cissel Saxon Post 41 (13-11, 11-11) was postponed after umpires failed to arrive, but Post 68 manager
Matt Cangas decided not to make up the game.

That left Sandy Spring one game short of a full slate, and Post 295 in the No. 1 spot.
"We did not have to forfeit the game to Cissel," Cangas said. "I decided not to play the game, since it meant nothing to either team. They were out of contention for a playoff spot and we were already in the second seed."

Sandy Spring closed the season with 13 wins in its final 14 games. Post 41 fell out of playoff contention with seven losses in its final 10. Playoff mainstay Damascus Post 171 finished 11-13.
Tuesday's match-ups consisted of Post 295, the defending division and state champion, hosting Laurel, who lost all three games against Gaithersburg, and Post 68 hosting Post 104, which also fell three times to its first-round opponent. The winners and losers of Tuesday's games will play Thursday.

With Post 295 hosting the Maryland State American Legion tournament at College Park at the end of the month, the Montgomery Division will place two teams in the state tournament. Post 295 automatically qualifies as the host. If it wins the division title, the runner-up will also. If Post 295 stumbles, the division champion will head to the state tournament with Gaithersburg.

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