During the month of July alone, there are more than 100 “World Series” going on in various age groups across the United States. The term “World Series” seems to have lost its meaning from overuse, except when it comes to Little League, Cal Ripkin and Babe Ruth organizations.
What sets these organizations apart is that they pay all of the travel, lodging and meal expense for the teams who qualify for the World Series. This year, the Sr Babe Ruth World Series is held in Ephrata, Washington. The plane tickets alone from St Louis to Spokane cost over $500 per person. All in all, it’s estimated that by the end of the World Series, Babe Ruth organization will spend upwards of $15,000 on the Wayne County Lumberjacks bid for the 2016 title.
After winning a very difficult state tournament for the second consecutive year, the Lumberjacks drove 1800 miles round-trip to compete in the Midwest Plains Regional Playoffs held in Holyoke, Colorado. The tournament matched the Lumberjacks against 7 teams from Kansas, North Dakota, Colorado, and Minnesota. The Lumberjacks knocked off each opponent they faced outscoring them 45-12 and punched their ticket to the World Series in Ephrata.
Blakeney Kearbey (.625 BA), Bryce Alcorn (.500 BA),
Trey McDaniel (.474 BA) and Ben Becker (.462 BA) gave their team strong batting performances which put them all in the top 10 batting averages of the 110 players in the tournament. Kearbey was twice awarded the game MVP award and Trey McDaniel was awarded the MVP of the entire tournament.
Alcorn and David Deken were awarded the “Play of the Game” honors. Deken received his award for a diving catch in centerfield during the semi-final game and Alcorn for a heads-up shortstop play to rob a line drive from being a hit during the championship game.
The World Series format has the 10-team field divided into two pools of five teams. Each team in the pool will play 4 games to determine the pool seeding, with 3 teams from each pool moving on to. During a team meeting, Head Coach Jeff Null told his team, “This is an experience of a lifetime and, of course it would be great to win a championship, but we need to focus on getting out of pool play and into the bracket.”
The Lumberjacks Roster will include the following players:
|1||Hunter Berry||East Carter (Senior)|
|2||Ben Becker||Belmont University (Freshman)|
|3||Trey McDaniel||Greenville (Senior)|
|4||Steven Carter||Mineral Area College (Sophomore)|
|8||Trynt Tompkins||Mineral Area College (Freshman)|
|11||Jake Dorris||Lindenwood – Belleville (Freshman)|
|14||Wyatt Barks||Greenville (Senior)|
|19||Trystan Holmes||Crowley’s Ridge College (Freshman)|
|20||Bryce Alcorn||Mineral Area College (Freshman)|
|23||Blakeney Kearbey||Jefferson College (Freshman)|
|25||David Deken||Twin Rivers (Senior)|
|10||Tanner Tibbs||Poplar Bluff (Senior)|
|15||Tyson Tibbs||Poplar Bluff (Senior)|
|48||Jack Becker||Greenville (Sophomore)|
Head Coach Jeff Null. Assistant Coaches Dalton Woodard, Shane Kearbey, and Marcus Berry.
The Lumberjacks start their journey in the showcase game on the first evening pitted against the 2015 reining Senior Babe Ruth champions who also happen to be the home-town team from Ephrata.
The Lumbjack’s schedule is as follows (times below are posted in central time, be aware that times posted on the Babe Ruth site are all in Pacific time which is 2 hours behind Central time):
Aug 6 @ 9pm Opening Ceremony
Aug 6 @ 10pm Lumberjacks vs Ephrata WA
Aug 8 @ 1pm Lumberjacks vs Tucson, AZ
Aug 9 @ 10pm Lumberjacks vs Blue Lick, KY
Aug 10 @ 7pm Lumberjacks vs Union County, NC
Bracket play (should they make it) begins in the evening on Aug 11
You can follow the win-loss records and seeding of each team on BabeRuthLeague.org.
Each of the games and opening ceremony will be live streamed across the Internet. You can find more information at www.ephrataworldseries2016.com once the tournament begins.