California dreaming ...
The Hagerstown PONY 13-year-old 'A' all-star team is one step away from the World Series in Chino Hills, Calif.
The team, managed by Ed Kipe, will compete in the East Zone Tournament, starting Sunday afternoon in Davidson, N.C. The winner will earn a trip to the World Series, which begins Aug. 1.
"If we win, we'll go directly from North Carolina to California," Kipe said.
Hagerstown earned a berth to the East Zone Tournament by winning the West Region tournament last week in Boardman, Ohio.
The local squad cruised through the winners' bracket and rallied past Ingomar Black (Pa.) 5-4 to take the crown. Philip Pietro knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"We went unbeaten in Boardman. We had good pitching and clutch hitting and that will carry you a long way," Kipe said of the region experience. "I like the makeup of this club. We have good balance, pitching depth and the guys really work well together -- that's important on a tournament team."