For many of us, the Liberal Bee Jay season came to an end too soon.
But for many of our local teams, baseball has continued, and the Liberal Rattler 13-year-olds will be providing some hometown entertainment this weekend in the Midwest Regional.
The Rattlers from the earliest level up have had a very successful season. Most teams played in the state championship game, and three age groups won state titles, the 9-, 12-, and 13-year-olds.
The Rattler 12s ended the year as the third place team in the Midwest Region, which stretches from Kansas all the way to Canada.
Yesterday, the Rattler 9s ended in second place in the Midwest Region.
Now, it will be the 13-year-olds turn to compete for a trip to the national tournament.
This has been a very competitive age division. Many of these kids have had success in multiple sports, but I believe if you ask most of them what they enjoy most, baseball would be their choice.
These kids have played together for several years, and it has paid off with a bid to the Midwest Regional and being the host team.
Many times, the host team participates in the tournament as a type of wildcard team, but the Rattlers are different.
Not only did they know they were already in the Midwest Regional, but they also earned a spot by winning the Kansas State Tournament. They are not only the host team, they are the Kansas champions.
Their win did allow a second Kansas team, the highly competitive Parsons program, to enter the tournament as well.
There is another bonus to this year’s Midwest Regional Tournament being played in Liberal. Seward County Community College has agreed to allow the tournament to take place at Brent Gould Field.
Brent Gould is perhaps the best natural grass field in all of college baseball in Kansas.
Not only will fans be able to have shaded seating thanks to the canopy behind home plate, but there is easy access to paved parking, and the players will have the opportunity to compete on Liberal’s premiere diamond.
Liberal doesn’t get to host a Midwest Regional often, and this is a special opportunity for some bonus baseball.
The Rattlers will play at 8 p.m. Friday night, and I encourage you to stop by and watch. Come earlier and watch some of the best teams in Mid-America, but stay to support our Liberal Rattlers.