Little League All Star Tournaments hit town this weekend
By Sparta Live | June 27, 2008 12:00 am
The Sparta Little League fields will be buzzing with action beginning this weekend, as the local league will play host to three different tournaments.
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The 11/12 baseball and softball, as well as 9/10 baseball area tournaments get underway Friday. Sparta will also be host to the district tournament. Volunteers have been doing renovations at the field this week in preparation for the event. It also takes a lot of volunteers to pull off a tournament like this. For this reason, the league will welcome any volunteers who want to help make this tournament a success for the local little leaguers.
Both the host teams in the 11/12 and 9/10 year old divisions will put a vastly experienced team on the diamond to ultimately vie for a trip to the state tournament.
The 11/12 year old squad is loaded with experienced players, who have already played a lot of baseball in their young lives. Of the 13 players listed on the roster, eleven were on the 11 year old All Star team that advanced to the state tournament last season. In addition to having played together for several years, they have also played some travel ball together which should make a very experienced deep club for the eldest of Sparta’s Little League baseball teams.
The 9/10 year baseball team is also hoping experience along with pitching will lead them to a successful campaign. Manager Tim Qualls talked about his squad.
“Over half of our players played last year on this same All Star team as nine year olds,” said Qualls. We lost last year to Smith County and DeKalb County, but they were made up mostly of 10 year olds. This year that will be reversed, but both those teams are always strong. I really think that our pitching will be strength for us. Out of the 11 players on our team, we go eight deep on pitching. We are a little weak hitting the ball some places, but I think we’ll be all right. I believe we can ride this team a long way. We’ve got the pitching and I think we can have enough at the plate to get us through.”
For the boys’ teams, the top two teams from the area advance on to the district. The 12 year olds open play Saturday at 6 p.m. against Gallatin. The 9/10 squad will also play Gallatin, but that game will be at 7:30 p.m. on the minor league field.
For a complete schedule of local tourney games for the baseball teams, see page 2 B.
Sparta fielded only one girls’ All Star team, that being the 11/12 age division and there is only one other team in their district. Sparta will host a two best out of three series with them. They will play Sunday, June 29th at 2 p.m. with the second game to follow. That should start somewhere between 3:45 and 4 p.m. A split in those games would force a third and decisive game to be played the following Sunday, July 6 at 2 p.m.
Sparta has three other Little League All Star baseball teams. There is an 11 year old baseball team and two 10 and under pitching machine teams. The 11 year olds will begin play in their first tournament July 7th at Smith County. The two 10 and under pitching machine All Star teams were split into different pools and will play at different sites. Team A will play at Smith County while Team B will travel to Lebanon. Both of those tournaments begin on July 7th.