CHARLESTON -- Charleston became host of the 2006 Babe Ruth Missouri 16
-18-Year-Old State Tournament by default but welcomed the turn of events.
Charleston was picked because Jackson, originally scheduled to host the tournament, did not field a Senior Babe Ruth League team this year.
"This is a big opportunity for our area and we'd sure love to see a huge crowd," said Charleston coach Michael Minner. "We've done a lot of upgrades on our field including new lights. The city of Charleston is working real hard to make this work."
Hinkhouse Park is the site with play getting underway on Thursday at 11 a.m.
The Charleston squad (13-19), comprised of nine players from Charleston, three from East Prairie, and one each from Oran, Sikeston and Kelly, faces Missouri Valley in the showcase contest on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Other teams, all league champions, participating are Bourbon, Mo., Central Missouri, Dexter South, Dexter North, Mineral Area and Rolla.
Local teams competed in the dual-division Dexter League. The North division included Charleston, Cape Girardeau, Sikeston and Chaffee while the South teams were comprised of two Portageville and two Dexter squads.
Portageville came through the South and Cape Girardeau represents the North.
"Our kids deserve to see a big crowd out there," added Minner. "We'd like to see a crowd like they've never seen in Charleston."
State tournament winners advance to the eight-team Midwest Plains Regional Tournament in Desloge on July 28-Aug. 2, then the regional champion goes to the National World Series in Newark, Ohio.
Complete tournament schedule: Thursday -- 1. Bourbon vs. Central Missouri, 11 a.m.
2. Dexter South vs. Rolla, 2 p.m.
3. Mineral Area vs. Dexter North, 5 p.m.
4. Missouri Valley vs. Charleston, 8 p.m.
Friday -- 5. Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5 p.m. 6. Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8 p.m.
7. Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 11 a.m.
8. Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m.
Saturday -- 9. Game 7 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 2 p.m.
10. Game 8 winner vs. Game 5 loser, 11 a.m.
11. Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 5 p.m.
12. Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 8 p.m.
Sunday -- 13. Game 12 winner vs. Game 11 loser, 11 a.m.
14. Game 11 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 2 p.m.
Monday -- 15. If necessary game, 2 p.m.