Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — The New York State Little League Baseball 10U Championships are underway at historic Hyde Park.
Owego Little League is hosting the event, which culminates with the championship round Friday, for the next three years.
Opening ceremonies, a picnic for the teams and a home run derby highlighted Saturday's activities.
Games begin today with local representative Vestal taking on Batavia and Massapequa Coast facing Tri-Village at noon. At 2:30 p.m., South Shore plays Stony Point and Plainview meets RC.
The tournament should provide a nice boon to the community as teams from Buffalo to Long Island bring family and friends to stay at local hotels and eat at local restaurants.
The opportunity to host a tournament of this caliber has taken years of hard work and dedication by numerous volunteers.
Numerous businesses and community members have been involved with the Owego Little League since its inception in 1952. Over the years, the league has expanded and the complex is now home to three baseball fields and a softball field, as well as a field dedicated to T-Ball and a field dedicated to Teener League. There are also two batting cages and three practice pitching mounds.
In 2017, lights were installed on Jim Raftis Memorial Field, allowing the league to play any time of day from April to October. Lights were added to Jim Beauter Field and Dick Franz Field in 2018. The latest upgrade project, which is currently underway, involves replacement of all the dugouts.
Further upgrades are being planned through a grant process, to include improvements in parking areas and replacement of outfield fences.
The ultimate goal is to bring the Major 10-12 Baseball state championships here and a successful 10U tournament run could help Owego Little League accomplish that feat. The league will rely heavily on volunteers to help put together three years of quality tournaments.
IN PHOTOS: Vestal's Josh Kweller (top) and Liam Bigelow compete in the home run derby. ... BY TIM TAYLOR
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