CITY SET TO HOST STATE CLASS B BABE RUTH

It has been nearly 20 years since Hettinger has hosted the North Dakota Class B Babe Ruth Tournament. That streak is set to be broken at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 31 as the first pitch is thrown at Mirror Lake Ball Park. The last time tournament baseball was in Hettinger was in 1996.

State tournament pairings graphic

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor | cbenz@countrymedia

It has been nearly 20 years since Hettinger has hosted the North Dakota Class B Babe Ruth Tournament. That streak is set to be broken at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 31 as the first pitch is thrown at Mirror Lake Ball Park. The last time tournament baseball was in Hettinger was in 1996.

Eight teams from seven different regions will congregate for the state tournament. Winners from each region advance to the tournament, with the host team earning an automatic berth.

The tournament set to begin on July 31, but the end date is some what of a fluid situation. The tournament is double-elimination, meaning if two undefeated teams meet in the championship, it could be a three game series.

Each team is allowed 15 players and two coaches. Pitchers also will have restrictions on their inning count. A pitcher can not exceed seven innings in a two game stretch. So a pitcher could potentially pitch four innings in game one, three in game two and another four in game three, because the total is based on a running seven.

Winners from District 4 and District 7 will open the tournament. Followed by District 1 versus District five and then District 2 versus District 6. Hettinger/Scranton will headline the evening game against District 3. By rules, the host team plays the last game of the first day.

The games are two-and-a-half hours apart, so by that time frame the Bears would be throwing their first pitch around 6:30 p.m.

Scruffy’s in Hettinger will be sponsoring two ball players as the Player of the Game and will reward the athlete with a gift certificate.

Concessions will be offered at The Granary, as well as right at the ball diamond. But The Granary will be the main spot for food, and patrons of the baseball tournament can hide from the sun and enjoy some refreshments if the weather gets too warm.

Admission will be a daily rate of $5 for adults and kids Kindergarten through high school, with children four and under getting in free. Veterans will also be given free admission for the games.

Nolan Dix, coach of the Hettinger/Scranton Bears was integral in getting this tournament back to Hettinger.

“I wanted to bring people to town, I wanted to get the baseball program more of a spotlight,” Dix said.

Dix also said that bringing baseball to Hettinger on a larger scale was important, because he knows the community likes baseball, but they don’t necessarily drive out of town to catch a game.

“We’ve got baseball fans here that want to see baseball, but no one wants to drive two-and-a-half hours,” Dix said.

Teams visiting Hettinger will be tough. Dix said some are coming from larger communities but are in Class B competition, but he believes that his team can run with the best.

“I think we’ve got as good of a shot as anybody because we’ve got three, four pitchers, and kids that can hit the ball,” Dix said. “I think District 5 is going to be well represented at the state tournament.”

Anyone can follow the tournaments progress and get scores on the Facebook page. Search ‘2015 ND State Class B Babe Ruth Tournament’ and like the page.







GAMES