07/23/04 — Wayne 14's try for BR World Series berth

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Wayne 14's try for BR World Series berth

By David Williams
Published in Sports on July 23, 2004 1:55 PM

Wayne County's 14-year old Babe Ruth all-stars will start the state championship tonight with a single goal -- make the World Series.

It's a goal common to all summer all-star baseball teams. Usually it is a difficult process in which a team has to win a district tournament, then win a state and regional championship to make the World Series.

But in the case of Coach Mac Allen's team, a state tournament title -- this state tournament title -- is all that is required.

The state tournament, set to begin today in Kenly, has an unusual twist to it in that the World Series is to be played just up the road at Wilson's Fleming Stadium. Wilson County will be in the field as the host team, and another team will go as the host state champion -- the winner of this tournament.

It is a big advantage to the tournament winner to make the World Series field without going through the rigors of a southeast regional bracket -- to say nothing of being able to play in a World Series and sleep at home in a player's own bed.

The state tournament runner up will still get a chance to make the World Series by playing as the Eastern North Carolina state runner-up at the Babe Ruth Southeast Regional tournament August 6-11 in Andalusia, Alabama. The winner of that tournament will come to Wilson as Southeast regional champion.

Wayne County, winners of the district tournament a few weeks ago, will open tournament play today against Lumberton at 4 p.m. A win puts Wayne County into a 7 p.m. winners' bracket game on Saturday, while a loss sends Wayne County to a Saturday elimination game at 1:30 p.m.

The other first-round matchups have Wilmington playing Washington in the opening game at 11 a.m., Nash County meeting West Raleigh at 1:30 p.m. and host Johnston County playing Dare County in the nightcap at 7 p.m.

The tournament continues through Tuesday.