Swingers eye Puerto Rico

For baseball followers it’s an
interesting time of year. In the pro ranks inter-league play is ongoing and
will soon make way for the mid-summer classic. For US colleges the College
World Series has just concluded.

In Cayman the journey of some of
the island’s best sluggers to one of baseball’s most cherished youth tournaments
is under way. Roughly 13 players are heading to Humacao, Puerto Rico on Friday
2 July to take part in the Caribbean regional qualifiers for the Little League
World Series. Cayman takes on their Caribbean counterparts for seven days 3-10
July with local youngsters slated to return home on the 11th.

Representing Cayman will be Pablo
Bertran, Josiah Derksen, James Green, Matthew Guitard, Finigan Huffington,
David Lee, Sean McField, Cameron McWatt, Chris Messer, Kevin Redden, Zachary
Scott, Kevin Weber and Connor Woods. Of that list Derkensen, Lee and Messer
might stand out most. Derkensen and Messer are star players in local youth
hockey while Lee has lent his talents to numerous sports such as flag football
and cricket. 

It must be noted that Cayman is a
minnow in the region compared to established powers like Aruba and Puerto Rico.
Winning the competition would ensure Cayman a spot in Williamsport,
Pennsylvania for the 64th annual world series, geared at youngsters 11-12
years-old, 20-29 August. The world series would also provide media exposure for
Cayman as the tournament is broadcast annually on the ESPN family of networks.

Under the instruction of head coach
Dayne Brady the Cayman travel team was hand-picked from the various ranks of
the Cayman Islands Little League. All of the Cayman kids have been practicing
non-stop from November and played at the Carolina Baseball Challenge in May.
Most of the team have played together in past tournaments in Orlando, Miami and
Chicago.

Coach Brady states the Puerto Rico
tournament is huge for the kids.

“The travel team went
to Charlotte, North Carolina for a highly competitive tournament against some
of the best teams in Charlotte. We used that venue as a training program for
our boys, to see what areas we needed to work on before we go to Puerto Rico.
The tournament in Puerto Rico is one of the “pinnacle” events and it is the
“Big Show” for youth baseball players.”

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