The defending American Legion baseball state champions from Jefferson City Post 5 are among several teams on their way to Liberty Park for the Jimmy Glenn Tournament Saturday and Sunday.
The Travelers open the tournament against Moberly at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and will face Washington at 8 p.m. Saturday, Chillicothe at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and Jeff City at 8 p.m. Sunday.
“We’ve got some good quality teams coming in,” said Travelers manager Jeff Mays. “I know that the Moberly team is supposed to be a good ballclub that’s coming. Washington is always real strong. From what I understand, they’ve got good pitching. They’ve got the total package.”
Jefferson City brings in players from teams like Blair Oaks and Fatima. Fatima won the Class 3 state title on Tuesday, beating Scott City 3-2 in 8 innings.
“They just get all those upperclassmen from around that area,” Mays said. “They’re usually pretty strong.”
Mays said Chillicothe is a fairly young team but expects them to be scrappy.
The Travelers enter the tournament with a 6-4 record after a 4-2 win over Booneville on Tuesday in a nine-inning game. Roberto Ramirez pitched 9 innings, allowed five hits, no walks as Mays said he “just threw a great ballgame.”
Gable Dull had an RBI and Brice Pannier had a hit and scored two runs.
“I thought we hit the ball well off some good pitching,” Mays said.
The Travelers like the hitters in the lineup and their approaches at the plate, but Mays said there is still a learning curve as they try to find the right spots in the order for everyone.
“We’re still trying to find our way and get the proper pitching matchups,” he said. “We’ve been struggling at the plate a little bit.”
Mays said playing 10 games in a week and a half has helped the team transition from a typical high school schedule to the more densely packed summer schedule.
“We’ve got a pretty good pitching staff, they’re not used to the grind of summer baseball where you play a lot of games,” he said. “We’re tying to get them refocused and I think we saw that (Tuesday). We kind of worked through that spring training.”