The so-called Super Regional phase — translation: neutral-site, double-elimination phase — of the American Legion State Tournament opens Saturday at Palmer Field with two games.
Three of the teams are from Zone 4 — Greenwich, Stamford and Trumbull — with one familiar face, Zone 3 champion Cheshire, completing the field.
In the first game at 1 p.m., Zone 4 champion Greenwich (25-2), which swept two games from Middletown this week, takes on Stamford (24-5). In the second game at 4 p.m., Trumbull (25-5) will play Cheshire (25-5).
Greenwich and Stamford split two games during the regular season. The third game was a 1-1 tie which was not made up. Greenwich was 2-0 against Trumbull but the third game was canceled due to weather and also not made up.
Stamford advanced to the Super Regional the hard way, winning both games in the single-elimination tourney over the weekend, then knocking off Zone 5 champion Oakville. Stamford first beat Oxford 7-3 then defeated Orange of Zone 2, 11-3. It then swept Oakville, the Zone 5 champion, 6-0 and 5-4.
Trumbull, the second place team in Zone 4, beat North Haven of Zone 2, then took two of three from Zone 2 champion Stratford, winning the first game 3-2, losing the second 4-1, and winning the finale, 8-4.
Cheshire played all its games as did every team in Zone 3 and finished ahead of Meriden and Middletown. Cheshire swept the postseason series with Meriden, both via shutouts at 1-0 and 3-0.
Saturday’s two losers will play Sunday at 1 p.m. and the two winners will play at 4 p.m. There will be single games Monday and Tuesday at 6:30 and if another game is needed, it will be Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
While the four teams are playing at Palmer Field, there will be games at Muzzy Field in Bristol involving teams from the Northern Division.
At 1 p.m., West Hartford, the second place team in Zone 7 which pulled the stunner by knocking off Zone 7 champion RCP, will play Zone 6 champ Waterford at 1 p.m. and at 4 p.m., South Windsor, the runner-up in Zone 8, will play Zone 1 champion Avon.
Waterford, whose high school team won the Class M CIAC title, beat Tolland, then lost to Zone 6 champion Willimantic, 8-0, in game one of its best-of-three series, but bounced back to win the next two, 4-1 and 3-1.
South Windsor, the second place team in Zone 8, blasted New Britain 14-0 in game one of the one-and-done series, then lost game one with Zone 6 champ Willimantic 3-2 before coming back to win the next two, 12-4 and 3-2.
Avon, the Zone 1 champion, won the first game over Southington 3-2, then lost the second game by forfeit 7-0 when it was determined it used an ineligible pitcher (he attended a showcase, in direct violation of Legion rules), but came back to win the decisive third game, 4-3.
So on Saturday, West Hartford will take on Avon at 1 p.m. and South Windsor will play Waterford at 4 p.m.
The survivors at Middletown and Bristol will play a best-of-three for the state title July 29 and 30 at Palmer Field. Both teams will advance to the Northeast Regional at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass..
That’s because the states with the top six Legion teams gets two teams in a regional. The national Legion counts all levels — seniors, juniors and preps — in determining which state gets two teams in the regional tourneys.