The Ohio Valley Regionals are returning to Janesville.
The Janesville Youth Baseball and Softball Association will host Babe Ruth Baseball’s 13U OVR tournament at the Janesville Youth Sports Complex beginning with opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. tonight.
Pool play for the tournament begins Friday, with bracket play Sunday and the potential for a Monday championship. The tournament champion advances to the Babe Ruth World Series beginning Aug. 8 in Westfield, Massachusetts.
“We’re excited to host again,” JYBSA tournament director Doug Madsen said. “We last hosted three and four years ago. It’s a big production, with teams from as far away as West Virginia coming to town.”
Janesville’s team won the 13U state tournament in Eau Claire earlier this month, beating the host team 3-2 in the state title game.
“We really came alive with the bats at the state tournament, and our pitching has been great all summer,” Janesville coach Rick Kyle said. “I think we scored 50 runs or so at state and only allowed five or six.”
Eau Claire is also in the 12-team field, which is split into three four-team pools to start.
Janesville will open play at 11:30 a.m. Friday against Elkins, West Virginia. The local team plays again at 5 p.m. that night against Logansport, Indiana. The third pool-play game for Janesville is at 5 p.m. Saturday against Southeastern Lexington, Kentucky.
Eau Claire’s pool includes: Downers Grove, Illinois; Germantown out of Louisville, Kentucky; and New Castle, Indiana.
The third pool includes: Jasper, Indiana; Travelers out of Rensselaer, Indiana; Evergreen Park from Illinois; and Guernsey Valley, Ohio.
“We’ll have three fields going and lots of people from faraway places, so you might hear some different accents and conversations,” Madsen said. “It’s pretty neat. My son, Dalton, played in one (Ohio Valley Regional) when he was 9, and he’s still in contact with some of those kids, so you get lifelong friends out of it.”
Games begin at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday.