Youth teams invade Tupelo eyeing championships

TUPELO – A total of 71 baseball and softball teams will invade local fields starting today for a pair of major championship events.
The 2010 Dizzy Dean 9-year-old World Series begins at 9 a.m. today at the Ballard Park Baseball Complex, with 36 teams from six states. The event is scheduled to run through next Wednesday.
The USSSA Youth Slow Pitch World Tournament – East will begin Friday at 8 a.m. at the Veterans and Eastwood Complex. The competition schedule – for 35 teams in age groups from 8-under through 19-under – could be completed as soon as Saturday night.
A mass opening ceremony for both events is planned for BancorpSouth Arena tonight at 6 p.m.
“We’re very confident in our ability to put on quality multiple events at the same time,” said Seth Gaines, Director of Athletic Events for Tupelo Parks and Recreation. “It takes a lot of people in the community, including volunteers and our office staff, to make this run smoothly.”
Last year, Gaines and his staff successfully operated three events for 58 teams at the same time, as the USSSA event was held at the same time as a pair of Dizzy Dean tournaments.
The weather will be a concern, as hot temperatures could mix with a modest chance of thunderstorms, especially on Saturday.
Five area teams are in the Dizzy Dean baseball field. Fulton will be among the teams in action at 11 a.m. today, with the host Tupelo squad playing at 1 p.m. Teams from Oxford, Saltillo and Starkville will play at 3 p.m.

Contact John L. Pitts at 678-1522 or john.pitts@djournal.com.

Ticket Prices
– Baseball tournament tickets are $5 per day and $3 for ages 7-12 and childern under 6 for free. Passes are $20 and $12.
– Softball tickets are $5 per day, with passes available and children under 6 for free.

John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal