MERIDIAN, Miss. A local travel baseball team is headed to Arkansas to compete in the Babe Ruth Southwest Regional Tournament. The 13u team is coached by Meridian High School Athletic Director Chuck Butler. To qualify for the regional tournament, the team had to win the state tournament at the beginning of the month. They did so effortlessly, beating Magee 36-1 in two games.
Coach Butler stressed the hard work it took for the team to qualify for the regional tournament and the team’s talent depth.
“This isn’t one of those tournaments you pay to get in - you have to win to get there,” Butler said. “This is a great group of kids. They’ve improved a bunch over the last three to four years - they’ve played for state championships pretty much every year they’ve been together.”
If Coach Butler and his squad win the regional tournament, they head to Massachusetts to compete in the World Series taking place Aug. 8-15. While the team is focused on the regional tournament, they have their sights set on Massachusetts. Outfielder Braxton Cornish shared how he plans to help the team get to the World Series.
“I’ve got to do my part, help the team and make Coach Chuck happy,” Cornish said. “It’s a big tournament - we’ve got to hopefully win it and go to Massachusetts.”
Coach Butler chimed in on what will be key for the team to advance to the finals of the regional tournament.
“Hopefully we’ll throw strikes - we’ve got some great arms,” Butler said. “We swing the bat through the whole lineup plus the guys that are on the bench. I truly expect them to hit well and my hope is we throw strikes and let the other eight guys get them out.”
The team will play their first game of the tournament Friday at 10 a.m. against Mountain Home, AR.