SIKESTON -- This year marks the third time that the Sikeston 13-year-old All-Star team will participate in a World Series tournament. This year the tournament will be at the Babe Ruth level while the previous two trips were on the Cal Ripken circuit.
"We play College Point, NY. in our first game at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday," said Sikeston head coach Rod Anderson. "We played them last year at the World Series (in Aberdeen, Md.). They are one of the teams that returned. They had us down 5-0 and we came back and beat them 6-5."
In their final three games of pool play, the other three opponents that Sikeston will face in the American Division are Jamestown, NY. (Aug. 17, 8 p.m.), Westchester, Calif. (Aug. 18, 2:30 p.m.) and Greenville, NC. (Aug. 19, 12 p.m.).
The tournament is being held in Jamestown, NY. at the Single A facilities (Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park) of the Florida Marlins.
"They are going to shorten the fields," said Anderson of the baseball diamond. "We didn't know that. They are huge -- I think they are 342 down the right field line and 335 down the left field."
The original center field depth is 410 feet.
Anderson said that all expenses are paid for the squad except for the first leg of the trip, which is an overnight stay in St. Louis before their early morning flight.
He went on to say that the team is as prepared as they could possibly be and that he feels like this year will provide a better finish than previous years.
"As far as relaxed, I think they're more relaxed this time," said Anderson. "They're a little more confident I think. I really do feel like we're going to do real well."
"This is our third World Series," he added. "Last year we had one bad game or we probably would've advanced really far. They know now that they can't do that. We can't take a day off because we've got to be ready to play every night. We've had some really good practices and the weather's been really nice so we've been able to extend some practices. Hopefully we'll continue what we've done in the regional tournament."
Anderson said that the squad is healthy, relaxed and ready to play some more baseball.
All of the games will be fed through the Babe Ruth network via the internet and can also be heard at KSIM 1400 on the radio.