JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro 10-year old Cal Ripken team will have the chance to play for a World Series title on Saturday at Joe Mack Campbell Park.
They defeated the Pacific Southwest Regional champions from Visalia, CA on Friday night by the final score of 9-7 to earn their berth in the championship game of the Cal Ripken World Series they are hosting.
Jonesboro had a big second inning, taking the lead after trailing by three entering the frame. Once they took the lead, they never looked back as Starting Pitcher Connor McClain went the distance to get the victory supported by great hitting from his teammates. "Great game as the starting pitcher," said Head Coach Gary Hoyt, "I told him a while a go that I'd never almost pulled a pitcher so many times and never did. He battled through it."
Earning their spot in the tournament because they were the host team, Jonesboro is going up against teams that have won regional and state championships, but they've proven to people they belong. "I told them before the game, the toughest team was going to win tonight," said Hoyt, "I challenged them to be the toughest team on the field and they rose to the challenge."
Hoyt said the fan support from Jonesboro has been a big help in getting the team to this position. "For this team, for these players, for this community, the support has been awesome," he said after Friday night's win, "The fan support tonight, was absolutely awesome and I couldn't ask for more."
Now Jonesboro will be pitted against Manatee, Florida, a team that has proven to be an offensive powerhouse. "They are a stout club," said Hoyt, "They probably swing the bats better than anyone I've seen out here in 10-year old baseball."
Jonesboro will play Manatee at 2:00 pm on Saturday at Joe Mack Campbell Park, the winner of that game will be the Cal Ripken World Series Champion.
Region 8 Sports will be at the game on Saturday and bring you coverage on Region 8 Sports at Six and Ten.
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