The Gastineau Channel Little League Minors Division All-Star baseball team begins District Tournament play tonight against all stars from Knik Gray.
That District, however, is in Anchorage.
“This is the first time Southeast (District 2) has played in another district’s tournament,” GCLL vice-president Jeremy Ludeman said. “The kids are, of course, excited to be able to play another week of baseball, and to travel to Anchorage.”
The District 2 Minor League Southeast Tournament was cancelled as teams from area communities pulled out for various reasons. That resulted in the loss of tournament activities such as games, clinics, barbeques and memorabilia sales. The tournament was then cancelled.
Juneau applied for a special waiver to play in the Anchorage tourney hosted by Dimond-West Little League. That application was sent to Southeast D2 administrator Duane Bell in Petersburg for approval, who then forwarded his approval on to Western Regional administrators in San Bernardino, Calif. Those administrators approved and sent the document on to Little League headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the final word.
“The circumstances were valid so they let us participate,” Juneau’s GCLL vice-president Jeremy Ludeman said. “Then the District 1 administrator had to welcome us, and he did. And all the teams in the tournament gave their okay as well.”
Teams in the tournament include Knik Blue, Anchorage Military, Polar, Nunaka Valley, City View, Dimond-West, Palmer, Knik Gray, Abbott-O-Rabbit, and Juneau.
“We are happy to welcome Juneau up to our tournament,” District 1 administrator David Gemmell said. “It should be a lot of fun for them and for our teams to play them.”
The teams are divided into two brackets of five teams and play each team in their bracket once. The top four teams from each bracket advance to the single elimination tournament that begins with quarterfinal action Saturday, July 13 in Anchorage (2 & 5 p.m. start times on two fields). Teams are seeded in that tournament by their accomplishments in the prior bracket play. Winners of Saturday’s games play in Sunday’s semifinals (2 & 5 p.m.) and those winners play Monday (6:30 p.m.).
Juneau’s opening games in the bracket play are against Knik Gray (7:15 p.m. tonight), Abbott-O-Rabbit (4:30 p.m. Wed.), Dimond-West (4:30 p.m. Thur.), and Palmer (4:30 p.m. Fri.). Results and/or photos will run when available.
“This is probably a one-time deal,” Ludeman said. “Teams that can attend Southeast tournaments vary from year-to-year. The kids were disappointed our tournament was cancelled but they still get a chance to play against other teams in the state.”
There is no State, Western Regional or Williamsport Tournaments for minor league teams.