9-year-old tourney set to start Friday
Field remains in flux for Cal Ripken event scheduled this weekend in G.C.
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Just two days before the start of the tournament, the final field of teams remains uncertain for the 9-and-under Cal Ripken State Baseball Tournament, scheduled to begin Friday at Charles Peebles Complex in Garden City.
Seven teams, coming from five districts across the state, including host Garden City from district 1 and one wild card team from the west, have confirmed they will play.
But an eighth team, a second wild card team from the eastern side of the state, is still mulling the possibility of entering the tournament.
The names of the teams from each district scheduled to play in this weekend's tournament were not available as of press time.
Similar to last year, when seven teams eventually played in a mixed round-robin format, the Garden City Recreation Commission has two plans in place to accommodate the teams, according to Jared Rutti, sports director at the Garden City Recreation Commission.
The first is for an eight-team tournament where teams are split into two, four-team pools to participate in pool play.
Each team would play once Friday, once Saturday and once more on Sunday. On Monday, the top two seeds from each pool would be inserted into a four-team, single-elimination bracket, with the top seeds from each pool playing the second seeds from the opposite pool.
The winners would play for the championship.
However, if there are only seven teams, a slightly more complicated format would be used to determine the top six teams. Those six teams would then be placed into a single-elimination bracket to determine the champion.
Also in question is how many teams may advance past the state tournament stage.
The winner is guaranteed a spot in the 9-and-under regional tournament in North Platte, Neb., scheduled to be played July 26 through 31.
However, it is possible that the second-place team might also make the regional tournament field, according to Rutti.