Fans of quality summer baseball will have no problem finding a high-level game over the next two weeks as the Lowcountry becomes the place to be for diamond lovers.
The area will play host to three big-time summer tournaments involving teams from more than nine states, starting with the 15-U and 17-U CABA (Continental Amateur Baseball Association) Wood Bat World Series.
Both tournaments begin today with the 15-U finals set for next Thursday and the 17-U finals the following day. Both championship games will be played at Patriots Point.
The 15-U World Series involves 19 teams while the 17-U field has 28 teams registered. The events are managed by John Rhodes.
"These are really quality events with some very talented prospects and very good teams competing," said Rhodes, who also operates the Diamond Devils travel ball organization. "We started these events 12 years ago in Charleston and it has become bigger and bigger each year. Now, CABA operates World Series events for all age groups all over the country."
Some of the top teams competing in the 17-U showcase include the Knoxville Stars, New York Greys, the Tennessee Dores, the Kingston (MD) Royals, and the South Florida American and National teams.
Locally, the Diamond Devils and the CBA (Charleston Baseball Academy) Prospects will be contenders.
The CABA 18-U World Series begins July 18 with 24 teams expected to compete in Charleston.
Sites for the two World Series this week include Dennis Park in Goose Creek, College Park, Charleston Southern, Wando South, Fort Dorchester, West Ashley, Bishop England, Northwood Academy and Patriots Point.
As if that's not enough baseball, North Charleston's Collins Park will once again host the Dixie Majors State Tournament, which includes a field of eight teams from around the Palmetto State.
North Charleston's squad, coached by Kenny Wilkinson, is the host team and has won the state Dixie Majors state title in every season since 1999, except for three years when they hosted the World Series and did not have to qualify in the state tournament.
Dixie Majors includes players in the 17-19 range. The other teams participating include Summerville, North Augusta, Central of Pageland, Chapin, Pelion, Greer and Pleasant Hill.
The team from Pageland is expected to contend for the state title after winning the state title in the Pre-Majors division last season.
Action gets underway Saturday with four games at Collins Park and four games at Charleston Southern. Games on Sunday and Monday will be at Collins Park, with the championship decided on Tuesday night at Collins Park.
North Charleston's Dixie Pre-Majors (15-16) team also begins state tournament play Saturday. The tournament is being held in Westminster.
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