The Holy Grail of Babe Ruth baseball is one stop away for two Fallon all-star teams.
The 14-year-old and 13-15 teams won their state tournaments two weeks ago in Reno and Lake Tahoe, respectively, to punch their ticket to this weekend’s Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament in Arizona. Justin Amos’ 14s team defeated South Reno in the “if” game after going undefeated prior to the championship, while Teryn Smith’s 13-15 club reversed its course after losing all three pool games to defeat North Valleys in the title game.
Fallon’s 14 all-stars will play at the spring training complex for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., while the 13-15 team will compete at the Kings Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
“They showed up and beat the heck out of everyone. They started to turn things around when it counted,” said Smith, who’s team avenged an 8-0 loss to Sparks and 9-6 defeat to North Valleys by winning 12-1 and 14-8, respectively.
The Fallon 14s will play three games of pool play to open up the tournament on Monday at the Surprise Recreation Campus.
Playing in Pool B, Fallon faces Westchester (So. Calif.) at 11 a.m. at Field Kansas City 5 and then takes on Glendale/La Crescenta (So. Calif.) on Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the same field. Fallon concludes pool play against Hawaii on Wednesday at noon at Field Texas 5.
Hamilton (Ariz.) is the only team Fallon will not face in pool play. Central and Northern California, Arizona, Northern Utah and the host Surprise compete in Pool A.
The top two teams in each of the A and B pools advance to the single-elimination bracket, which begins on Thursday on the Texas fields. The championship is later in the day at noon at Surprise Stadium with the winner advancing to the World Series in Moses Lake, Wash.
Last year’s winner in the 13-year-old World Series came from Bryant, Ark.
The 13-15 team starts its tournament sooner with pool play beginning on Saturday. Competing in Pool B, Fallon will meet Tucson (Ariz.) at 5 p.m. Field South 6 followed by Hanford (Central Calif.) at 8 p.m. on the same field. Fallon encounters Guam in its only game on Sunday, an 8 p.m. tilt on Field South 6 before completing pool play against Tri-Valley (No. Calif.) on Monday at 8 p.m. on Field South 7.
Kino-Tucson, Hawaii, Southern California, and Northern and Southern Utah are part of Pool A.
The top teams from Pools A and B will advance to the single-elimination bracket on Tuesday. The championship is Wednesday night at Kino Memorial Stadium where the winner advances to the World Series in Loudon County, Va.
Branchburg, N.J., won last year’s World Series as 14-year-olds.
“We’re sticking with our starters because we need to win every game to get out of pool play,” said Smith, who used the bullpen to start the pool games at state.