Piggott Hosting State Little League Tournament
Independence Park in Piggott marked its 25th year in existence this spring, and fitting for a silver anniversary celebration, the local park is set to host the 2015 Arkansas Little League baseball 11 to 12 year-old state tournament.
Last year the state tournament was played in White Hall, and for the 2015 tourney Piggott was awarded the rights to host. And as an added bonus, among the six teams competing in the bracket for a chance to advance to the national regional will be a local squad.
The Piggott team qualified for the state tournament by winning the District Four tournament at Rector, as they beat Corning 11-1 in the finals on Monday, June 29. Team members include Ethan Ralph, Brandon Palmer, Brent Gossett, Brandon Seal, Nate Lemmons, Wyatt Crabtree, Logan Ralph, Devon Mantz, Austin Fair, Michael "Deuce" Parker, Holden Tarno and Cameron Collier. The squad is coached by Billy Joe Seal and Shawn Parker.
Action in the double-elimination bracket is scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m. this Friday, July 17, as Corning takes on Malvern. In the nightcap, tentatively set for 8 p.m., Pine Bluff Western will face South Arkansas/Union County.
The Piggott team drew a bye in the first round, along with the team from Bryant. In second round play on Saturday, Bryant will play the winner of the Corning-Malvern game at 1 p.m. with the Piggott squad playing around 3 p.m. against the winner of the Pine Bluff Western-South Arkansas/Union County contest.
The third round will see the four losers of the first two rounds meet, with games set for 2 and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The winners in the second round will face-off at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 20, with the winners in the loser's bracket playing each other in the late game.
Only one game is on tap for Tuesday evening, as the winner in the loser's bracket will take on the loser in the winner's bracket game at 6:30.
The state final is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22. In the event the loser of the contest has not been beaten previously in the bracket, the deciding game will be played afterward, around 8 p.m., if necessary.
The tournament director is Jennifer Rahn, vice president of the board for Piggott Little League, and she'll be assisted by Travis Young, District Three administrator for Arkansas Little League.
Admission to the tournament is being charged by the carload at the entrance to the parking lot adjacent to Independence Park. Organizers note the admission fee is $5 per car, regardless of the number of occupants.
The host organization has also planned a homerun derby for participants, to be held beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 18. The derby will be held at Independence Park and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.
The winner of this week's state Little League tournament will advance to the 11 and 12 year old Southwest National Regional, being played in Waco, Tex. The regional tournament will also be broadcast nationally on the ESPN family of networks.