The opening round of the Eastern Baltimore County Over-40 League saw the departure of the defending tournament champion Royals and the Dodgers knocked out short of the championship game for the second consecutive year after advancing to the title game seven consecutive seasons (five wins).
The Cardinals defeated the Royals 12-7, while the Rays dodged the Dodgers 5-3.
The Cardinals will face the Cubs, a 13-1 winner over the Diamondbacks, while the Rays will play the Astros, a 13-3 winner over the Orioles.
Both games are Sunday at 9 a.m., with the Astros-Rays playing at the Legion Post 38 field, and the Cubs-Cardinals at Patapsco High.
The Over-40 League, in its 10th season, is guaranteed to have a new champion for the second year in a row, as none of the four semifinalists have ever won a title.
Prior to the Royals winning last season, the first eight championships were won by the Dodgers (five), Pirates (two) and Athletics, who won the title in the league’s first season.