GUILDERLAND The Guilderland Babe Ruth 13-year-old division team will represent the Eastern New York region at the Babe Ruth World Series, which begins Friday at Clifton Common.
Guilderland begins the pool play portion of the tournament Friday at 4 p.m. against Jasper, Ind. Guilderland then plays Glen Allen, Va., Saturday and Atlantic Shore, N.J., Sunday. Both of those games begin at 8 p.m.
Friday's game marks the first time in two weeks that Guilderland has taken the field. The last time was when it defeated Niskayuna for the Eastern New York title, which automatically qualified it for the Babe Ruth World Series as the host region representative.
"The first week [after winning the title], we took it a little easy on them because these guys didn't have much of a summer vacation," said Guilderland manager Brian Grabek. "We ramped it up a bit over the last week, and we played a couple of scrimmages over the weekend to get their timing back."
Grabek said the Eastern New York tournament helped prepare his team for what it might face at the World Series.
"There could have been half a dozen teams that might have won states," said Grabek. "East Greenbush was a tough team, as was the Niskayuna team that we beat in the final."
Grabek said there are no standouts on his roster.
"We're a balanced team, and what I mean by that is that up and down the lineup, we can play," said Grabek. "Any of the 14 players that we have on the team, I feel comfortable having them on the field."
Guilderland concludes pool play next Tuesday, Aug. 23, against Tri-Valley, Cal., at 7:30 p.m.
The top three teams from each pool advance to the quarterfinal round next Wednesday, Aug. 24. The tournament concludes with the championship game Friday, Aug. 26.
"I really want the kids to enjoy the experience and then get to the quarterfinals because once you get there, anything can happen," said Grabek.