Franklin hosts Grassland, Bahamas, more in Cal Ripken qualifier
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
The Grassland Smoke 9U baseball will be one of the local favorites in this weekend's Cal Ripken Southeast Region event to be played at Franklin's Jim Warren Park. The team includes (bottom row): Aidan Spears, Travis Swafford, Baker Cash, Garrett Giles and Reid Murphy; (middle row): Cooper Derryberry, Miller Green, Nathaniel Roof, Isaac Napier and Aden Napier; (top row) Coaches James Napier, Michael Green and Chris Giles. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Franklin Falcons 9U baseball team, a part of the Franklin Baseball Club, will play host to nearly two dozen teams this weekend in the Cal Ripken 9U Southeastern Regional Tournament.
The four-day tournament, the pinnacle for the age group in the Cal Ripken League, begins today at Franklin’s Jim Warren Park, with the championship game scheduled for Sunday.
“"We are excited to be able to showcase our league, our playing facilities and our city through hosting this event," said Franklin Baseball Club president Chuck Hood. “We are also excited to have the opportunity to provide these players and their families with an unforgettable experience, both competitively and away from the field."
Teams from as far away as the Bahamas will participate, plus squads from Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia. There is also a strong local flavor. The Falcons are joined by county rival Grassland, as well as teams from Maury, Giles, Henry counties and Martin, Tenn.
The teams were treated to a welcome breakfast this morning prior the first contests, with opening ceremonies scheduled for 4 p.m. this afternoon.
The 20 teams are slotted into two brackets for pool play, with the Falcons in the American Bracket and Grassland in the National Bracket. The brackets are broken into two divisions of five teams with the top two in each division advancing to the single elimination tournament on Saturday, when all four quarter-final games will be played. The semi-final games are set for 10 a.m. on Sunday, with the championship game to follow at 12:30 p.m. on Field One at Jim Warren Park.
In pool play, Franklin will face Martin (Tenn.) on Field 2 at 4 p.m. today and return to take on Atlantic Beach (Fla.) at 9 p.m. on the same field. Their final two pool games will both take place tomorrow, meeting Peachtree (Ga.) at 4:30 p.m. and Matthews (NC) at 7 p.m.
Grassland opens play today at 4 p.m. against Henry County (Tenn.) before ending the day against Clay County (Fla.) at 9 p.m. Tomorrow, Grassland plays Glen Allen (Va.) at 4:30 p.m. before closing pool play at 7 p.m. against East Rowan (NC).
For information on the tournament and participants, call Public Information Officer Maurice Patton at 615-351-4812.
Posted on: 7/23/2013