A victory today would make Appanoose County the first team from the southeastern Iowa area to win the Little League 11-12-year-old state title since Davis County in 2006. That Bloomfield squad not only came within one win of qualifying for the Little League World Series, but would produce players that led the Mustang High School baseball program to their first three state tournament appearances and first-ever state tournament title in 2011.
While the 11-12-year-old Appanoose County squad will be trying to win that state title, the 9-10-year old state tournament will begin in Appanoose County earlier today. This morning, in fact, eight teams will be playing at Memorial Park in Centerville, with the first game starting at 11 a.m.
After the first four games of the day, which will include afternoon contests at 1, 3 and 5 p.m., a dinner at the fields for visitors and the community will be held offering either pulled pork sandwiches or a hot dog plate. There is no charge, but freewill donations are being accepted. All the participating teams will also be introduced, and former Indian Hills baseball coach Rick Mathews will speak to the kids before a fireworks show ends the opening night festivities.
Volunteers are needed to help out with the tournament during the opening weekend. In addition, the Appanoose County Baseball Association has finalized a souvenir program as well other contributions from local businesses and individuals to help with the financing of the state tournament.
The championship game will take place at 1 p.m. today. Like the 11-12-year-old tournament, all eight teams in Centerville this week play each other in round robin competition with the top two teams earning championship berths.
For more on this tournament, including a list of the teams competing and the full schedule of games and events, go to appanoosebaseball.org.