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Babe Ruth League to host regional tournament

With four teams in the Demopolis Babe Ruth league and games twice a week, league commissioner Rob Pearson knows things can get a little…familiar. That’s why Pearson has worked to bring in some out-of-town competition for the League’s 2005 Jerry Windle Challenge, to be held this Saturday at the SportPlex.

“We wanted to schedule a fun Saturday event for them,” Pearson says. “We could either just play two meaningless extra regular season games or we could have a tournament. The kids were more interested in something meaningful. They said, ‘Yeah, let’s go for that.'”

The Challenge will be an eight-team bracket single elimination tournament, with first pitches thrown at 9 a.m. and the championship game starting at 6 p.m. In addition to the four Demopolis Babe Ruth teams, the bracket will feature two teams from Linden and one from Butler.

“We’ve been working on it. We’ve gotten a lot of cooperation from around the region,” Pearson says.

If you’ve added the number of teams up, though, you’ve noticed there’s seven, one less than fit in the bracket. An early commitment from a team in Camden fell through, leaving Pearson scrambling to find another team and keep any “byes” out of the tournament.

“We’ve got seven teams. We’re desperately looking for an eighth,” he says. “We’d love a late entry.”

If one team (currently scheduled to be Demopolis’s Parr’s Chevron team) does get a bye through the tourney’s first round, Pearson says that he should be able to schedule enough consolation matches that every team will be rewarded for coming to the tournament.

“Everybody’s getting 2 games,” he says.

Of course, had the tourney been scheduled for Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday of this week, there wouldn’t have been any games at all thanks to the weather.

“We’re working on a contingency plan,” Pearson says. “What we’re hearing now, though, is that the weather should break off the next couple of days.”

Pearson says that the Jerry Windle tournament should be good practice for both the League’s season-ending tourney, the various age-group All-Star tourneys, and possibly in years to come, state high school playoffs.

“We’re putting these boys into a tournament situation, which we think will help them down the road,” he says. “The more times you’re put into a playoff or pressure situation, the better you’ll handle it.”

The tourney is being held alongside the Dixie Youth League’s George Spence Day, also scheduled for this Saturday at the SportPlex.