The road to the World Series starts at home for the Tallahassee-Leon Babe Ruth 14U All-Stars.
Host Tallahassee opens the four-day Southeast Regional Wednesday against Greenville, South Carolina, at 3 pm at Chiles High.
The winner of the seven-team tournament advances to the 14U Babe Ruth World Series in Williston, North Dakota, next month.
“To be able to play in front of your hometown fans and family members is going to be a lot of fun,” Tallahassee coach Mike Harrison said.
“We’ve worked very hard for the last year to get this tournament and we have a plethora of people who have put in a lots and lots of time make sure this tournament goes well.
“It’s big time baseball going on from Wednesday to Saturday.”
The Southeast Regional features teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Florida.
The tourney’s opening ceremonies are scheduled for Tuesday at 7 pm
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Tallahassee-Babe Ruth features nearly 70 years of history. Harrison has been involved for nearly half of its existence as he began coaching with TLBR in 1993.
Its alumni features players who have Major League experience, such as Reggie Jefferson, Dean Palmer, Chicago Cubs manager David Ross, and John Wasdin.
“It’s a great organization,” Harrison said. “We’ve been very blessed with the support of Tallahassee.
“The amount of quality players and family that we’ve had come through our organization has been phenomenal.”
Win and Advance
In 2021, the 13U All Stars placed third in the Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown, New York.
Now, those players have advanced to the 14U level with hopes of completing the mission.
“We feel like we have a good core group returning,” Harrison said.
“I coached 13U last year and we have the core group of that the team back and we’ve been able to add some really good players this year.”
Harrison especially his team’s pitching, calling it a strength.
“But we’re also going to have to score enough runs to beat the other team,” he said.
Representing the Big Bend area is paramount of Tallahassee-Babe Ruth Baseball. The feeling is unmatched for Harrison, who has coached in the World Series six times.
“There’s nothing like wearing a jersey with the state of Florida on the front,” he said. “Every time you go to a World Series, everybody wants to see the Florida team.
“It’s really special to represent the state of Florida. Winning this tournament is the first step. We’d love to have a big showing of Tallahassee baseball fans to come out and watch good baseball.
Wednesday’s games feature Winter Park-Marshall County at 9 am; Northern Faifax County-Julington Creek at noon; Tallahassee-Greenville at 3 pm; and Key West against the winner of the opening game at 6 pm
2022 Tallahassee-Babe Ruth 14U All-Stars Roster:
Brennan Baisden, Jason Cantella, Nate Dietz, Saunder Dinkelman, Alexander Haine, Gavin Harper, Wyatt Jessee, Ethan LaFuria, Cole Lawson, Jimmy Meeks, Mark Metcalf, Myles Mott-Smith, Bradford Ray, Colby Tadder
Coaches: Mike Harrison, Benny Hewett, Mike McLeod, Kip West
Gerald Thomas III covers FAMU athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @3peatgee.