American Legion Baseball

Beaufort Ospreys can secure top seed for playoffs by winning tiebreaker

Ospreys host Goose Creek on Saturday morning, ccox@islandpacket.comJuly 5, 2013 

Lowcountry Heat's Caleb Martin slides safely into second base as the Beaufort Ospreys' Alex Silon leaps over him to catch the ball during an American Legion baseball game earlier this season. The teams are part of a three-way tie atop the league standings.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Delayna Earley Buy Photo

Poor weather and a tight race atop American Legion League 1 have pooled the drama into a few hours of baseball Saturday.

The Lowcountry Heat, Beaufort Ospreys and Goose Creek tied atop the league standings during the regular season. To break the tie and determine playoff seedings, the Ospreys will play host to Goose Creek at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the loser assigned the league's third seed.

"I would like to get a 1 or 2, just so we can get that first game at home," Ospreys coach Mike Smith said. "That would be nice."

The Lowcountry Heat then were supposed to take on the winner in the afternoon to determine the league champion. But that's not going to happen.

The Ospreys found out they will own the No. 1 seed if they can defeat Goose Creek. Post 185 coach Chris Seelbach told Smith the Heat will have to forfeit the afternoon game because they won't have enough players available.

The Ospreys' tiebreaker with Goose Creek originally was scheduled for Friday night at Goose Creek, but the field was too muddy. Smith said he would be missing at least a couple of players for Saturday's play.

"I never know until I see the white of their eyes," he said. "I just don't know."

Having to forfeit their portion of the tiebreaker won't be a devastating blow to the Heat, since the top two seeds enjoy home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Monday.

Post 185's first-round opponent remains to be determined, but at least the Heat will have the support of the American Legion's 2-2-1 playoff format.

The Heat started this season strong, racing out to a 10-2 record and an early cushion in the League 1 standings. But Post 185 has struggled with participation and rainouts of late, losing three of its last five games to slip into Saturday's three-way tiebreaker.

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