It isn’t hard to track down Cal Evans. Just head to a local ball field.
The odds are pretty good Evans will be there.
Evans has been right at the heart of the growing success of Ottumwa Babe Ruth baseball, which has produced state championship 13 and 14-year-old squads. Evans also has been the head coach of the last two Heartland West squads that advanced all the way to consecutive berths in the Senior Babe Ruth World Series.
This summer, Evans is focused on getting the home diamond ready for state tournament play again this weekend. The 13-year-old Iowa Babe Ruth State Tournament returns to Bookin Field in Ottumwa this Friday and Evans is making sure the diamond is ready to match the quality of the atmosphere surrounding the tournament.
“It does bring in a lot of great people,” Evans, who is the tournament director, said. “There’s a lot of talent here in southeastern Iowa. It’s going to be exciting to see some of the best 13-year-old Babe Ruth players in the state in action.”
Ottumwa will be back in the seven-team field and will open at 8 p.m. Friday night, the tournament’s second game, against Tri-County North looking to win the state title that eluded the host squad last summer. Needing just one more win to take the state championship, the Ottumwa 13-and-under Babe Ruth All-stars lost twice to Fairfield in the double-elimination tournament.
Fairfield went on to compete in the Midwest Plains in Bismark, North Dakota. The squad made a successful run, finishing third while shaking off an opening-game loss to Mineral Area, Missouri to become the last non-North Dakota team to remain in the regional field.
The double-elimination tournament runs through July 18 and will get under way with the first game between Tri-County South and Davis County at 5:30 p.m. Lucas County and Oskaloosa and Boone are also in the tournament. The championship game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and opening ceremonies for the tournament will be held before play on Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m.
“We had good fortune with this tournament last year and because it went so smooth, it was awarded to us again,” Evans said. “There’s nothing like being here with these kids and seeing them work so hard. It really takes a lot of work to put this on, but we love to do it.”
The winner of the state tournament heads to Gehring, Nebraska to play in the Midwest Plains Tournament with that winner going to Kipsap, Washington Aug. 15-22 to play in the 13U Babe Ruth World Series. For more information on the tournament, contact Evans at 641-777-5148 or Mark VanVelsor at 641-455-1212.
Fairfield headlines 14U Babe Ruth State Tourney Field in Albia
Ottumwa will also have a team competing in the 14-year-old state baseball tournament, which will be held in Albia starting on Saturday. Fairfield will also take a team to Albia after rallying back to win a district title last week over Davis County.
Fairfield overcame an opening-game forfeit and won the district crown, winning 13-1 and 24-2 in the tournament final. Robert Barker had three hits and led Fairfield with six RBI while Jordan Reid, Keaton Winn and Alex Crile all had four hits and three RBI.
The 14U Iowa State Babe Ruth Tournament will run from July 14-18 in Albia. Contact Boyd Brittain at 641-226-7902 for more information on the tournament.
Ottumwa’s 14-year-old squad opens play in Albia against Fairfield at 5 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s 13-year-old state finals. The Ottumwa 15-year-old Babe Ruth squad will compete next week in the state tournament in Boone.
Ottumwa Senior Babe Ruth preparing for Midwest Plains Tourney
The Ottumwa Senior Babe Ruth team has had plenty of time to prepare for their third straight regional tournament title run. All that’s left now is to see who will join them in Montrose, Colorado.
The Heartland West Babe Ruth squad won their way back into the Midwest Plains Tournament by claiming the Iowa 16-18 Babe Ruth state tournament back in late April. The Ottumwa squad, which has qualified for consecutive Senior Babe Ruth World Series, earned the chance to make it three trips in a row after will the state tournament in Albia back on April 27.
The Ottumwa Senior Babe Ruth squad, which features several local prep baseball stars, will play in the tournament’s opening game against the Nebraska state champion on July 17.
The eight-team double-elimination tournament will also feature matches between the Minnesota and Colorado state champs with that winner to face either Ottumwa or the Nebraska champ. Missouri, Kansas, North Dakota and a squad from Montrose will also compete for the Midwest Plains title.
The tournament will run through July 22. Unlike previous years, the Senior Babe Ruth World Series will be played much earlier as the tournament will be held in Welmar, Texas from July 28 through August 4, which may pose a slight conflict with the Iowa State High School Baseball Tournament running all the way to July 28.
The tournament’s earlier start is being scheduled to accommodate high school players who will need to return home to take part in preseason football practices. Last year’s Senior Babe Ruth World Series, which lasted until Aug. 13, forced players to miss at least a week of preseason football practice. This year, the Iowa High School football season kicks off on Aug. 17 with the first full week of play set for Aug. 24.
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It isn’t hard to track down Cal Evans. Just head to a local ball field.
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