In the wake of an extensive facelift, District III Babe Ruth baseball competition opens this week.
The district 13-year-old tournament opens July 4 at Centralia. Aberdeen will host the 14-year-old tourney starting Friday, while the 15-year-old tourney is scheduled to begin Saturday at Rochester.
Due to league mergers, all tourneys will feature significantly smaller fields than in the past.
Aberdeen, Hoquiam and East Grays Harbor have combined to form one area team per age group, Grays Harbor (or Harbor). The Centralia and Chehalis programs have also merged and will be known as the Twins (as in Twin Cities) in postseason play.
That will result in a maximum of four teams participating in district tournaments (Mount St. Helens will not field a 15-year-old all-star team, nor will South Thurston in the 13-year-old age group), with at least two clubs per age group advancing to Southern Washington State competition.
The 13-year-old tourney begins with three games July 4. The event will then take a two-day break and resume Saturday and will conclude play Sunday.
The top-two teams advance to state in Richland.
Four teams are entered in the 14-year-old tourney at Pioneer Park’s Ken Waite Field. Two round-robin games are planned Friday and four more Saturday. Those will provide the seedings for single-elimination play Sunday. The championship game is planned for 6:30 p.m. July 9.
With Elma hosting the Southern Washington 14-year-old tourney, the Harbor team will automatically advance. The top two other finishers also qualify for state.
Three teams will compete for two state berths in the district 15-year-old tourney in Rochester. That tourney opens Saturday and concludes July 9. The state tourney in this age group is planned for Castle Rock.
Noon — Grays Harbor vs. Twins. 3:30 p.m. — Grays Harbor vs. Twins. 6:30 p.m. — Mount St. Helens vs. Twins.
5:30 p.m. — Twins vs. Mount St. Helens. 8 p.m. — Grays Harbor vs. South Thurston.
10 a.m. — Grays Harbor vs. Twins. 1 p.m. — Mount St. Helens vs. South Thurston. 4 p.m. — South Thurston vs. Twins. 7 p.m. — Grays Harbor vs. Mount St. Helens.
9 a.m. — South Thurston vs. Twins. Noon — Grays Harbor vs. Twins. 3 p.m. — Grays Harbor vs. South Thurston.
9 a.m. — Grays Harbor vs. Twins. Noon — Grays Harbor vs. South Thurston. 3 p.m. — South Thurston vs. Twins.