First game set for tonight at 8 p.m.
Now the question is: Can the PONY Baytown Baseball Association All Stars keep the momentum that carried it to a South Zone Coast Region-Houston sectional title and move one step closer to a World Series berth?
That will be answered this weekend when the Baytown-based team begins regional tournament play tonight at the NASA PONY – Bay Area Park.
Baytown battles La Porte in an 8 p.m. first-round contest and the winner advances to noon Saturday’s semifinal against NASA Orange while the loser falls into the losers bracket and a 2 p.m. game against either League City, Deer Park or Pasadena.
The tournament is scheduled to wrap Monday night.
“The team is putting in some hard work and getting ready for the tournament,” BTBA All Stars manager John Ward said. “It has been a long season and they have taken their bumps and bruises, but keep pushing through it. We will be at our full 15 players this week in regionals and hope to advance to zone. We stay humble because we know anyone can be beat on any given day.”
That might be the case, but in the sectional title run that took place two weeks ago in Baytown, the squad rolled to three straight wins.
Yet, Ward says they are not taking anything for granted.
“I have no doubt that they are preparing for us as well,” Ward said of La Porte. “It should be a good game as is most of the game with teams that have come this far. Our team is anxious to get to play and quit practicing. As long as our team stay focused and positive I believe we have just as good a shot as anyone to advance to zone in Louisiana.
“Right now our focus is on one game at a time and at this moment that is La Porte.”
BTBA President Laura Wamble is feeling good about her team’s chances this weekend and is very pleased with how the organization is being represented.
“Our players have been practicing since our last tournament and are positive about the upcoming regional tournament,” Wamble said. “Our boys have heart for the game and I do believe they will prevail against some hard teams.”
The one concern Wamble has is if the team was to get out of regional and head to the zone tournament in Youngsville, Louisiana, how to fund the trip.
“Our league will need to find a sponsor to offset cost for parents,” she said. “In the past, the zone has always been in Houston so we never had to worry about it. We are a non-profit league.”
To provide sponsorship for the BTBA PONY squad for a potential trip to the zone tournament in Louisiana contact Wamble at 713-557-9342 or email email@example.com.
South Zone Regional July 12-14, NASA Pony – Bay Area Park
Friday, July 12
Game 1: Pasadena vs. Deer Park, 6
Game 2: Baytown vs. La Porte, 8
Saturday, July 13
Game 3: Game 1 Winner vs. League City, 10 a.m.
Game 4: Game 2 Winner vs. NASA Orange, 12 p.m.
Game 5: Game 2 Loser vs. Game 3 Loser, 2 p.m.
Game 6: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser, 4 p.m.
Sunday, July 14
Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 10 a.m.
Game 8: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 12 p.m.
Game 9: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 9 Loser, 2 p.m.
Monday, July 15
Game 10 (Championship): Game 9 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 6 p.m.
Game 11 (Championship): If necessary, 8 p.m.