Esky teams prepare for big weekend

ESCANABA – A pair of Escanaba Little League teams are prepared to make waves on the big stage this weekend.

Fresh off of winning a state title, July 26 at Indian River, the Escanaba Junior (age 13-14) girls are confident heading into Central Regional play in Akron, Ohio.

The tournament is double elimination and begins this weekend. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for Friday evening, with Escanaba set to face Franklin, Wis. at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

“We’ll be practicing at 9 a.m. to prepare for the early start time,” Escanaba manager Vance Hiney said, noting that all of the games are on the early side. If Escanaba wins they will play the winner of Iowa and Missouri on Sunday. A loss would drop Esky to the elimination bracket.

Escanaba advanced by defeating Rockford 4-0 in the state title game.

The tournament runs through Wednesday with the regional championship and if neccessary game concluding on that day. The winner’s bracket semifinal will be held Monday with the elimination bracket final on Tuesday.

The regional champ will have played a minimum of four games to advance to the World Series in Kirkland, Wash.

The eight team tournament includes state champions from Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and the host Akron, Ohio team.

The Escanaba Junior girls previously advanced to the World Series in 2012.

The Escanaba Minor (age 9-10) girls also continue tournament play this weekend as they prepare to open the state tournament in Tecumseh, Mich beginning Friday morning.

Esky will play three pool play games, Friday-Sunday, each game being held at 11:30 a.m. The state title game is scheduled for Tuesday.

Escanaba advanced to the state tournament with a 5-3 victory over Gladstone in the district tournament and an 8-2 victory over Penokee Range in the sectional tournament on July 23 at Escanaba.

As there is no World Series at the Minor Little League level, the tournament road will end at the state level.