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Host Area Zone- Youngstown, Ohio 

WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug 8)- Youngstown, Ohio came out on top to earn the automatic bid to the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) after winning the five-team double elimination East Zone, West Region, Host Area Tournament in McCandless, Pennsylvania. After losing to three-time defending Host Area champion Johnstown, Pennsylvania in its second game, Youngstown came back to win its next two games to win the title.

Youngstown won its first game over 2016 Host Area Finalist Peters Township, Pennsylvania 10-7, before being shut out by Johnstown 4-0, which dropped the team into the loser’s bracket. In order to earn the automatic bid to the DSGPLWS, Youngstown had to win its next two games.

Youngstown faced Peters Township, yet again, and earned an 8-0 win needed for a chance to advance to the “if necessary” game against familiar foe, Johnstown.

Johnstown fell to Youngstown 15-5 in the “if necessary” game on Monday night, awarding the Host Area Zone Championship to Youngstown for the first time since 2011.

During the four-team double elimination satellite tournament in Mt. Lebanon, Youngstown played a similar tournament, winning its first game against Cranberry Township 19-1.  Youngstown faced the Johnstown Boilers and lost, putting it in the loser’s bracket. Cranberry Township fell to Youngstown again 15-1, allowing Youngstown an “if necessary” game. Youngstown and Johnstown played the rematch, and Youngstown won a close game 3-2.

In Youngstown’s most recent appearance (2011), it won its first game against Culiacan, Mexico 2-1. It’s first ever appearance was in the 1955 World Series where it advanced to the championship game before falling to Washington, PA. It recorded wins against New Brunswick, New Jersey 3-2; San Bernardino, California 5-4 and Washington, PA 4-2. In 1960, Youngstown returned and recorded a win against New Bedford, Massachusetts 2-0. Youngstown looks to be the first team from Ohio to take home the Roy Gillespie Memorial Trophy in PONY World Series History.

Youngstown will play its first game against East Zone Champion, Hagerstown, Maryland in Game #2 on Opening Night at 8 p.m. ET/US. Follow Youngstown and the rest of the World Series on PLWS.org and on PONY World Series’ social media. 

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Host Team- Washington County, Pennsylvania 


WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 8)- Washington Youth Baseball and the Canon-Mac Youth Baseball Association have teamed up and chose the 2017 Washington County Host Team to play in the DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS).

Together, Washington Youth Baseball and Canon-Mac Youth Baseball team up to form the Founders League, also known as the Host Team for the World Series. Both teams send their best players for a tryout and out of 30, only 15 are selected.

This year, the 15-player team is comprised of seven players from Washington County and eight from Canon-Mac.

Since the team has been chosen, it has been playing in multiple tournaments in preparation of the World Series. Most recently, the team traveled to Charleston, West Virginia and won the title at the Tournament of Champions, earning a 5-0 record and outscoring its opponents 59-9. To lead the offense, Anthony Andy went 7-for-9 and Ben Siller went 5-for-7 with four doubles.

Since Washington County hosts the World Series, each year Washington County forms a team that gets an automatic bid. Washington has been the host of the DSGPLWS 53 out of the 65 years.

The Host Team’s last title was in 1955, where Washington recorded wins against Greensboro, North Carolina (8-7); Marquette, Illinois (8-3); San Antonio, Texas (10-3); Youngstown, Ohio (6-4); and Youngstown again for the championship (4-0).

Washington County will take on the PONY European Zone Champion, Netherlands in Game #4 on Sunday, August 12 at 2:30 p.m. ET/US. Watch Washington and the World Series on PLWS.org and follow PONY World Series’ social media. 

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North Zone- Bay County, Michigan



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 8)- World Series Tournaments, Inc. and PONY Baseball are proud to announce Bay County, Michigan will make its sixth-consecutive appearance at the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) as the North Zone Champion.

Bay County (Red) went 5-0 in the tournament, starting off by beating fellow Michigan team Mount Pleasant 11-1. After securing a solid lead in the third inning, when the team scored three runs, the fourth inning is where Bay County showed dominance scoring seven runs. The team had 11 hits, 8 RBI, and 9 singles total. On the mound, Blake Waibel pitched four innings, only allowing one run, two hits, and striking out six.

In its second game, Bay County (Red) rolled over Bay County (Green) thanks to an eventful sixth inning, which consisted of six runs followed by a home run by Bryce Fredenburg. Eric Randall hit another homer in the seventh inning to complete the 10-run rule victory (12-1).

Bay County (Red) pulled away from a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning against Central Area, Michigan in the third game of the tournament.  Logan Hugo hit a homer in the bottom of the third to give Bay County a close lead. After a back-and-forth game, the four runs earned in the sixth propelled Bay County Red to the top with an 8-4 victory.

Bay County Red took the momentum in its fourth game early, when Hugo and Mason Kolak cracked home runs in the first inning against Central Michigan. Two more home runs came in the third inning by Brendan Bonnell and in the sixth by Louis Henika giving Bay County the 11-1 win.

The championship game brought two familiar opponents together for a rematch. Bay County put Mount Pleasant away in the sixth inning scoring seven runs thanks to a double by Blaise Miller, a single by Kolak, and a home run by Grant Horner, securing the 9-1 win and an automatic bid to the 2017 DSGPLWS.

Bay County will face South Zone Champion, Brownsville, Texas in Game #3 on Saturday, August 12 at Noon ET/US. Keep up with Bay County and all of the teams at PLWS.org and on PONY World Series’ social media. 

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South Zone- Brownsville, Texas 


WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 8)- Brownsville, Texas will make its first appearance at the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) since 2013 after winning a title at the PONY South Zone Championships in Youngsville, Louisiana.

Brownsville finished the five-day tournament with a 5-0 record, crushing every opponent in the six-team National Bracket. The team recorded a shutout against its first opponent Deer Park, Texas 10-0. In its next game, Brownsville blew past another fellow Texas team, Northwest Austin, 20-2.

Brownsville gained another win against Nasa (Houston), Texas 11-8 and earned a spot in the semifinal game, where, Brownsville once again met up with Nasa and beat its opponent by a more decisive score of 12-2.

The championship game rivaled 2016 PONY South Zone Champion, Laredo, Texas against undefeated Brownsville in a close match. Brownsville took the edge 2-1 to earn the automatic bid to the DSGPLWS.

Brownsville’s most recent appearance at the DSGPLWS was in 2013 where it recorded a win against Bayamon, Puerto Rico (13-6). It made its first appearance in 2006 where it recorded a win against Hopwood, PA (11-1). The last title won by the PONY South Zone was in 2011 by Laredo.

Representing the South Zone, Brownsville will play against North Zone Champion, Bay County, Michigan in Game #3 on Sunday, August 12 at Noon ET/US. Keep up with the World Series on PLWS.org and by following PONY World Series’ social media. 

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West Zone- Covina, California 



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 7)- Covina, California advances to the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) after completing an undefeated run during four days of play at the Pony West Zone Championships in Mountain View, California.

Early on in tournament play, Covina’s Anthony Rasmussen ended a 7-7 tie against Santa Cruz, California when he hit a walk off in the bottom of the seventh inning to capture an 8-7 victory.

Covina proceeded to record a 6-0 shutout against Host Los Altos-Mountain View, California in its next game thanks, in part, to a pivotal top of the fourth inning in which the team recorded five hits (two extra-base) hits and a hit batsmen to take a comfortable lead. Starting pitcher Mike Gonzalez pitched a complete game (seven innings), allowing no runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out 10 in the win.

Santa Cruz and Covina met again in the semifinals, but the end result was the same for Santa Cruz. Covina put the game away early with a huge first inning consisting of a single by Luke Williston, single by Gonzalez, a grand slam by Rasmussen, and a double by Chase Kito. Not to mention the home run by Williston in the second inning resulting in a 14-5 score.

In the championship game against former 2016 West Zone Champion Maui, Hawaii, Covina came out on top, putting away Maui early in a 9-3 victory. Thanks to another strong start with three singles in the first and a single and a home run by Robert Hernandez in the second, Maui couldn’t pull off the win.

Representing the PONY West Zone for the first time since 1999, Covina will face the winner of Game #4 between European Zone Champion Netherlands and the Host Washington County, Pennsylvania Sunday, August 13 at Noon ET/US. Follow every game live on PLWS.org and PONY World Series’ social media. 

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East Zone- Hagerstown, Maryland 


WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 7)- Hagerstown, Maryland returns to the DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) after a rigorous four-day PONY East Zone Tournament in High Point, North Carolina in which the squad finished with an undefeated record.

Hagerstown started off tournament play with a 10-0 shutout against Host High Point. The team gained momentum when four runs were scored in the fifth inning. A fielder’s choice and a single by Michael Keats fueled the inning.  

 Hagerstown pitcher Josh Black threw four innings, giving up zero runs, one hit and four strikeouts in the win.

On the second day of play, Hagerstown put defending PONY East Zone Champion Chesterfield, Virginia away early, as Bradley Summers had four RBI on two hits to lead Hagerstown to a 17-3 victory. Maryland scored eight runs in the fourth inning to grasp a comfortable lead.

In the tournament final, Hagerstown once again met up with Chesterfield, but the result was nearly identical. Maryland took the lead early and recorded 10 runs in the fifth inning to secure the lead. Tyler Crain hit a homerun in the second and third innings to finish the day with five RBI. Josh Crampton also hit a home run in the fifth completing the 17-5 win.

Hagerstown will represent the East Zone at the DSGPLWS and will play its first game against the Host Area Champion, Youngstown, Ohio in Game #2 on August 11 at 8 p.m. ET/US. Follow Hagerstown and all of the teams on PLWS.org and on PONY World Series’ social media. 

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Asia-Pacific Zone- Seoul, Korea


WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 7)- PONY Baseball and the Asia-Pacific Zone have announced that Seoul, Korea will represent the Asia-Pacific Zone in the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series after the Zone Championships were rained out due to Tropical Cyclone Nanmadol, which hit Japan during the tournament.

After completing the first day of pool play on July 3, play was suspended on July 4, because of the tropical cyclone. Pool play continued on July 5 and the tournament completed almost all of the day’s games before the evening games were rained out.

Unfortunately, July 6 was no different and tournament play was also suspended. This is when PONY Asia-Pacific Zone officials and the teams’ coaches determined that pool play could not continue due to time restraints. The Host Tournament Directors and respective country delegates agreed on the following teams continuing on in the semifinal round, since they were the leaders of their respective pools when play was suspended: Chinese Taipei, two teams from Japan and Korea.

Weather did not allow play to resume on July 7 and games were unable to be played in time for the teams to return on their predetermined flights back home. It was then determined by the Asia-Pacific Zone officials that Seoul, Korea will represent the Zone in the Pony World Series.

“We want to thank our Asia-Pacific Zone member countries for their patience, perseverance and determination during the unfortunate events of Tropical Cyclone Nanmadol,” Stated Abraham Key, President and CEO of PONY Baseball and Softball. “The tropical storm created a unique set of circumstances, rescheduling and eventual championship determination. The situation was beyond the control of our tournament host Fukuoka, Japan and the tournament directors. Our thanks to all involved.”

Representing the Asia-Pacific Zone for the first time since 1997, Seoul will face the winner of Game #1 between Mexico Zone Champion, Guasave, Sinaloa and the Caribbean Zone Champion, Levittown, Puerto Rico in Game #5 at 5:30 p.m. ET/US on Saturday, Aug. 12 in Washington, Pennsylvania. You can follow all the action on PLWS.org and PONY World Series’ social media.

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Caribbean Zone- Levittown, Puerto Rico 

 

WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 7)- Levittown, Puerto Rico will make its fourth-ever appearance at the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) after five days of play in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic at Temistocles Metz Stadium.

Despite tournament play getting rained out on the first day, play was resumed and Levittown opened up the tournament falling to the Dominican Republic National Champions 7-4.

Puerto Rico came back and recorded a win against Panama 4-3 and crushed their next opponent St. Martin 13-0.

Tournament play ended with two solid wins for Levittown against the Dominican Republic National Champions 6-3 in the crossover rounds and Panama 5-4 in the championship game.

Puerto Rico has made its presence known in every DSGPLWS since 1983, besides 2011 when Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic qualified. Most recently, Mayaguez advanced to the 2015 semifinals, before being defeated by eventual champion, Taoyuan County, Chinese Taipei. During Levittown’s most recent appearance in 2014, it advanced to the semifinal “if necessary” game in which it lost to Taoyuan County 6-2 in eight innings.

Representing the Caribbean Zone as its Zone Champion, Levittown will kick off the tournament in its first game against Mexico Zone Champion, Guasave, Sinaloa on Friday, Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. ET/US. Stay updated on Levittown and all teams on PLWS.org and PONY’s social media for scores and more. 

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Mexico Zone- Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico

WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (May 16) - After a heroic walk-off home run against an undefeated rival, Guasave, Sinaloa won its second-ever PONY Mexico Zone Championship recently in Juarez City, Chihuahua. As the Mexico Zone Champion, Guasave advances to the  DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) in Washington, Pennsylvania.  

 Guasave opened up the eight-day tournament with a 6-1 loss against Villahermosa, Tobasco in pool play. The loss ignited the team as it went on to record four-straight victories against Minatitlan, Veracruz 5-0; Sonora 14-1; Maya 3-1; and Tijuana, Baja California 6-5.  Heading into the knockout round in second place behind Villahermosa, Guasave continued to stay hot, besting fellow Sinaloan team, Culiacan, 15-2 and Muralla 7-3 in the semifinals.

 The championship game brought two familiar rivals back together for a rematch, Guasave and Villahermosa. Through six and a half innings, the game was a classic stalemate, as both teams remained scoreless. Guasave pitcher Vidal Sotelo Rivera was the hero, after hitting a game-winning home run to deep left centerfield, completing a 1-0 victory.

 Sotelo was named tournament’s Batting Champion after recording a .667 batting average and a 1.467 slugging percentage.

 The last time Guasave played in the DSGPLWS was in 2012, when it recorded a 6-5 victory over Washington.

 Mexico has been represented at the DSGPLWS since 1971, when Maya first qualified for the Zone. Monterrey, Nuevo León went on to win Mexico’s only DSGPLWS. Los Mochis, Sinaloa last made it to the championship game in 2013, when it lost to Okinawa, Japan 5-4. Most recently Los Mochis made it to the Division Finals last year falling to eventual champion Taipei County, Chinese Taipei. Guasave’s participation in this year’s tournament marks the sixth- straight year that a team from Sinaloa has been represented at the DSGPLWS.

Guasave will battle PONY’s representative from the Caribbean Zone in Game #1 on Friday, Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. ET/US. All games Aug. 11-16 will be played at Lew Hays Pony Field in Washington Park. Watch Guasave throughout the tournament online at plws.org and on PONY’s social media. 

European Zone - The Netherlands


WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (May 19) -  After four rigorous days of play at the 2017 SUMA PONY European Zone Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, the Netherlands went undefeated and clinched the European Zone title, qualifying them for the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is the Netherlands’ first appearance at the DSGPLWS in the 66-year history of the tournament.

In its thrilling semifinal matchup, Holandsko A trailed Prague, Czech Republic 7-6 going into the final inning until Holland’s Sam Brouns and Tyriq Kemp hit back-to-back doubles, setting up Danny Albinus in a pivotal spot. On an 0-1 count, Albinus hit another double, which scored both runners and ended the game in an 8-7 win, which advanced Holland to the championship game.

The championship game featured the undefeated and former 2014 PONY European Zone Champion Czech Academy against undefeated Holandsko A. In a one-sided affair, the Dutch shutout the Czechs 11-0 to earn the European Zone’s automatic bid to the DSGPLWS.

Netherlands’ starting pitcher Gio de-Graauw pitched three innings of two-hit ball without allowing a single run in the championship game. His team provided him with plenty of run support early after a five-run second inning.

After his impressive performance, de-Graauw was named the Tournament’s Best Pitcher, completing the championship game with three innings pitched, a 0.00 ERA, zero hits allowed and seven strikeouts. Teammate Raydley Legito was named Tournament MVP, after he finished the tournament going 9-for-12 at the plate with a double, triple, nine runs scored, seven clutch RBI and six stolen bases.

In early round pool play action, Holland kept its tournament intact by recording two shutouts in addition to the 11-0 rout in the championship game. Throughout the tournament, Holland defeated Draci Brno, Czech Republic 8-4; Ukraine 19-0; Moskvich, Russia 25-0; Polsko A, Poland 19-2; Prague 8-7; and the Czech Academy 11-0.

It is the sixth year that a team from PONY’s European Zone has qualified for the DSGPLWS, since Paderborn, Germany first qualified in 2012. Since then, Paderborn has recorded two of the Zone’s three wins (2-1 in 2012; 12-0 in 2016) and Vienna, Austria has won one game (12-9 in 2016). All three wins have come against Washington, Pennsylvania.

Holland will travel across the Atlantic Ocean to Washington to face its first opponent in Game #4 on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 2:30 p.m. ET/US. The tournament will kick off Aug. 11 at the Lew Hays Pony Field in Washington Park. Keep up with Holland throughout the World Series online at plws.org and on PONY’s social media. 

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