Host Aberdeen will open at 8 tomorrow night against Glen Allen, Va., the Southeast Region champion, in the feature game of the fourth Cal Ripken World Series.
The game will be the fifth on the opening day of the tournament for 12-and-under teams, and coach Ken Wilson's squad will likely have its hands full against Glen Allen.
Jacob Mayers pitched a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts as Glen Allen stopped Jupiter, Fla., 2-0, in the Southeast Region final in Goldsboro, N.C. Mayers also had two hits, including one that brought in the second run. Teddy Kozak added two hits for the Virginia team.
Aberdeen gained a berth in the World Series by virtue of being the host and is an all-star team of 15 players from a six-team league of 75 players.
Cordell Smith will start on the mound for Aberdeen. Other pitchers expected to see action in the series are Tyler Donohoo, Kevin Remines and Ethan Wallace.
Clean-up hitter and first baseman Conner Jones also is a relief pitcher.
Two other top Aberdeen players are leadoff batter and third baseman Chris Hoffman and center fielder Jerome Clanton.
"Those guys are my top six hitters and I expect them to hit," said Wilson. "If we catch the ball, we can win some games."
Major league rules will be in effect in the series, with the exception of playing six-inning games (four if a game is called), special pitching rules and re-entry rules much like those used in the high school game.
To help protect the young arms, pitchers will not be allowed to throw more than six innings in any two consecutive games during the pool level of play that will end Thursday.
A new count on innings pitched will start when single-elimination play, involving the top four U.S. teams and top four international teams, opens next Friday.
Home run derby
Four finalists will compete tonight in the Sports Illustrated For Kids Home Run Derby, with Bill Ripken pitching. It will follow the opening ceremony, which is set for 6:30.
At a glance
What:Cal Ripken World Series, for 12-and-under teams, affiliated with Babe Ruth League Inc.
When:Tomorrow through Aug. 24
Where:Ripken Stadium and Cal Sr.'s Yard, Aberdeen
Admission:$5 adults, $3 children; tourney pass, $20.
Information:Call 410-297-9292 or go on the Internet to www.ripkenbaseball.com.
Also: For Aberdeen, a seemingly big league experience. [Page 1b]