Waynesboro’s North Park was the venue for the 2019 Babe Ruth League/Cal Ripken All-Star 9-and-under state tournament as play got underway on Friday.
The nine-team tourney brought more than 150 youngsters to the area for the four-day event.
Both area squads, the South Augusta team and the Waynesboro team, faced tough opponents in their first-round games with South Augusta losing 11-3 to Winchester and Waynesboro falling 17-0 to Stafford.
But both teams play again Saturday with Waynesboro squaring off against Northside (Charlottesville area) at 9 a.m., while South Augusta plays at 2 p.m. against an opponent to be determined in the double-elimination tournament.
“It was a rough day for us,” said Waynesboro manager Arthur Keys. “We didn’t play well today.”
Waynesboro entered the tournament as the host and winner among District 4 teams. The local boys were undefeated entering play on Friday, having won a Staunton tournament, the Waynesboro Invitational and the District 4 tournament.
“We were excited in hosting this and I just enjoy doing everything for the kids,” Keys said.
Many local businesses stepped up to help sponsor meals, lodging, tournament programs and information packets which were distributed to each family which participated.
“It went a little smoother this time than last year because we had time to prepare,” said Waynesboro Babe Ruth League Event Coordinator Dennis Ivany. “Still, things came down to the last minute.”
Last year, Waynesboro hosted the state tournament for the first time.
In South Augusta’s game, Mason Miller, Daniel Craig and Ty Maddox scored, while Caleb Clark and Elliott Eddings had RBI-hits.
“One thing I’ll say about our team is that we don’t give up,” said South Augusta manager Josh Iddings.
The South Augusta All-Stars are made up of players from the Riverheads, Greenville and Rockbridge County areas.
During the regular season, South Augusta finished runner-up to Waynesboro in District 4.
Other teams competing in the tournament along with Winchester, Stafford, South Augusta and Waynesboro were Northside, Western Branch (Chesapeake), Glen Allen, Gainesville/Haymarket and Arlington.