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Indian Meadows prepares for state Little League tournament

Nearly everything is in place at Indian Meadows Park for next weekend's 12-year-old New York State Little League Tournament.

The new pavilion has been constructed, the primary Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Little League field has been worked on and the parking lot has been expanded to accommodate the thousands of people who will be flocking to Glenville for the state tournament.

We've been wracking our brains trying to think of anything that we might have forgotten, said tournament director Bill Purtell. "Otherwise, we're really excited."

This is the first time that BH-BL Little League has had the opportunity to host states. The last time the tournament was in the Capital District was several years ago when Albany National was the host.

"Hosting this event is an honor and a great responsibility," said Purtell. "But, it is not about Burnt Hills baseball. It is about great baseball and dreams of winning the [Little League] World Series."

To prepare himself for running the tournament, Purtell consulted several people who have had experience hosting states.

"Charlie Fitzpatrick, who's oversees the Capital District region, gave us a lot of ideas about what to expect, and we also talked to last year's host, South Orangetown Little League [in Rockland County]," said Purtell.

What Purtell learned was to expect big crowds to converge on Indian Meadows. "They kind of helped us understand the magnitude of the event," said Purtell.

Indian Meadows is about as ready as it will be for the tournament, which starts July 31 and ends Aug. 4. The parking lot was expanded earlier this year, and the new pavilion will give spectators a place to hang out between games.

"We're still waiting on the picnic tables," said Purtell.

The park is even ready for any inclement weather that might hit Glenville during the tournament. BHBL Little League brought in tarps for the infield, and Purtell said the league has plenty of drying agent to combat the rain, if there is any.

"Weather is the wildcard when you prepare for something like this," said Purtell. "You can't control the weather."

The only thing left to lock down is the six teams from across New York that will be playing next weekend. Regional tournaments take place this weekend, with the winners advancing to states. The winner of the state tournament goes on to Bristol, Conn., for the Northeast regional.

"We hope fans come from all around to watch the games. This is a regional event," said Purtell.""

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