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West Zone - Covina, CA

WASHINGTON, PA (August 7, 2023) - Covina, California, has won PONY Baseball’s West Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

Offense was not hard to find for Covina as it outscored opponents 48-5 en route to their undefeated West Zone tournament win.

Head Coach Jesse Chavez attributed Covina’s outstanding play to the team mentality with the players, coaches, and even parents.

“Our pitchers were not afraid to locate the ball because they knew that we have a very strong and fast defense. The boys baseball I.Q. is amazing. The boys will coach us from time to time if they see something we don't. It's amazing. Our coaching staff is amazing as well. We also have the best team mom ever. Thank you Liz,” said Chavez.

Covina is no stranger to World Series events as this same exact squad played in the PONY-13 World Series last year in Modesto, California. This will also be the fifth time Covina has qualified for the PONY World Series. Covina finished as the runner-up in 1968 and won the World Series in 1975, 1999, and 2017.

Chavez noted the excitement that his team is feeling ahead of the upcoming Series.

“This will definitely be one of the best highlights in our lives, being able to play on the same field against teams from across the world. The experience the boys and coaches will get in this tournament will be great. I just hope for the best and want to make sure everyone comes back home with a great story to tell.”

Covina, California, will open its tournament with a matchup against Youngstown, Ohio, on August 11 at 7:30PM/EST at Lew Hays PONY Field.

East Zone - Manchester, NH

WASHINGTON, PA (August 7, 2023) - Manchester, New Hampshire, has won PONY Baseball’s East Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

Head Coach Mike Lecuyer’s squad went undefeated in the Zone tournament, outscoring opponents 30-5. Lecuyer was proud of his team’s performance and noted that their biggest strength has to do with approach to the game.

“Our biggest strength is attitude and effort. Manchester, New Hampshire, has great team chemistry, and each player is a strong competitor,” noted Lecuyer.

This is Manchester’s second all-time qualification for the Series, with the first coming in 2021. In 2021, Manchester won its opening matchup but then lost its next two games.

“Our players and coaches, as well as their families, are excited and humbled to be invited to participate in the World Series. It is an honor to be able to travel to Washington, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of PONY Baseball, and be a part of its history,” said Lecuyer.

Manchester will play its first game Saturday, August 12, at 2:30PM/EST as they take on Managua, Nicaragua, at Lew Hays PONY Field in Washington, Pennsylvania.

South Zone - Palmview, TX

WASHINGTON, PA (August 2, 2023) - Palmview, Texas, has won PONY Baseball’s South Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

This is the second time Palmview has qualified for the Series. Their first appearance was last year at the 2022 World Series where they finished tournament play with a 1-2 record.

Palmview went undefeated in five games in South Zone play, defeating Texas Heat 4-1, Nasa Green 10-0, Church Point 12-1, and Texas Heat 9-2, before taking down NASA Orange 6-5 in the Championship.

Head Coach Ruben Lopez is banking on team chemistry to lead them to the title.

“Our team is very well rounded. I would say our biggest strength is team chemistry and the boys backing each other up. We have great communication and the boys are on the same page,” said Lopez.

Last year at the PONY-13 World Series in Modesto, California, this same squad took home the title over Monterrey, Mexico. Both teams are in this year’s 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

“It's an honor to represent the South Zone, the Rio Grande Valley, and Palmview,” said Lopez. “We know this is a great tournament and we have to play our best to make it to the end. We are very excited to be here.”

Palmview, Texas, will play Bay County, Michigan, in the opening game of the series August 11 at 4:30PM/EST at Lew Hays PONY Field in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Host Area - Youngstown, PA

WASHINGTON, PA (August 2, 2023) - Youngstown, Ohio, has won PONY Baseball’s Host-Area Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

In the 12-team Host-Area tournament, Youngstown dominated, going 4-0 while outscoring opponents 44-2. Head coach Joe Gabriel noted that the team performed well in the qualifying tournament.

“We played well as a team and began to gel the more we played together. We look forward to continuing in Washington, Pa,,” stated Gabriel.

Gabriel’s team has been focusing heavily on improving before the tournament.

“We are practicing hard and focusing on the process. We are having fun being around each other and working on getting better each day,” said Gabriel. “We talk a lot about getting better each day.”

The last time Youngstown qualified in 2021, their magical run ended in the finals when they fell to Brownsville, Texas, 11-10.

“We are very excited and are looking forward to being in a great atmosphere and playing good competition,” stated Gabriel.

Youngstown will open play against the West Zone champion at 7:30PM/EST on August 11 at Lew Hays PONY Field in Washington, Pennsylvania.

North Zone - Bay County, MI

WASHINGTON, PA (August 1, 2023) - Bay County, Michigan, has won PONY Baseball’s North Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

In the North Zone tournament, Bay County went undefeated and put up 60 runs in five games to qualify for the Series. Visiting Washington, Pennsylvania, is nothing new for Bay County, as they have been the North Zone champion for 11 consecutive years and were the 2019 runner-up.

Head Coach Craig Revette has been here before, but is excited for the experience this will provide his players with.

“For me personally, I think participating in the PONY World Series is the ultimate experience for these players. To compete against teams from around the US as well as around the world is amazing,” said Revette. “The players and families will get to experience the different cultures from other areas in the US and other countries across Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America. There is no greater experience at this age for a baseball player.”

Five players are returning for Bay County from last year’s Series and Revette believes this is part of their key to success.

“I believe our biggest strength is just being a close knit group. For a team it is important to stick together and continue to work as a unit.  In order to be successful, we will need to continue to work together.”

Bay County, Michigan, plays the opening game in the 2023 World Series against Palmview, Texas, at 4:30PM/EST on August 11 at Lew Hays PONY Field in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Host Team - Washington County, PA

WASHINGTON, PA (July 16, 2023) - Washington County, Pennsylvania, has selected its team to compete in the 2023Printscape PONY League World Series.

While there are no returning players from last year’s squad, the morale is high with the team made up of players from Canon-McMillian, Burgettstown, Fort Cherry, Trinity, and Washington school districts.

Washington County’s team was created from the Founder’s League, which consisted of 175 players on 15 different teams from eight Washington County school districts: Trinity, Washington, Canon-McMillan, Chartiers-Houston, Bentworth, Fort Cherry, Avella, and Burgettstown. 

The host team is looking to build off of a successful 2022 Series run where they went 3-2 and lost in the semi-finals to the eventual runner-ups, Monterrey, Mexico.

Head coach Anthony Wuenstel has his team preparing for their tournament run by getting in as much practice and as many games as possible.

“We are playing in tournaments and practicing 4-5 times a week. So far, we have won the two tournaments we have played in and have two more before the start of the World Series,” said Wuenstel.

Wuenstel stated their biggest strength is their well-roundedness. According to him, this is why they are the team to beat in the tournament. 

“We have timely hitting, good defense, and solid pitching. We like to say that the pitching feeds the defense, the defense feeds the offense and the offense feeds the pitching. When all three are working in unison, we are hard to beat.”

Teams from Washington County have won two World Series titles. Monongahela took home the 1954 championship, followed by the City of Washington winning it the very next year in 1955. 

Washington County starts tournament play at Lew Hays PONY Field on Saturday, August 12, at 12:00PM/ET, with a matchup against Paderborn, Germany.

Asia-Pacific Zone - Edogawa, Japan

WASHINGTON, PA (July 15, 2023) - Edogawa, Japan, has won PONY Baseball’s Asia-Pacific Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

Japan cruised through tournament play, outscoring opponents 99-6, with their only loss coming from defending champion Chinese Taipei.

Head coach Yutaka Furusawa noted the victory over Chinese Taipei was huge for team morale.

“Being able to beat Chinese-Taipei for the first time in about 10 years is very important. I feel that the stability of the defensive power centered on the pitcher led to our victory,” stated Furusawa.

Japan’s defensive ability centered around pitching was noted by Furusawa as their team’s biggest strength heading into the World Series.

While Japan is coming here to try and win a title, the team’s trip to the United States is more about experience.

“Most of the players are visiting the United States for the first time. We are looking forward to playing in the World Series of our dreams,” said Furusawa. “We want to fully experience America and enjoy baseball.”

The last time Japan participated in the Series was in 2013. Their lone title came that year when Okinawa, Japan, hoisted the trophy. 

Edogawa gets a first round bye and will play its first game of the 2023 tournament against the winner of the North Zone and South Zone match-up at 5:00PM/ET on August 12 at Lew Hays PONY Field in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Caribbean Zone - Managua, Nicaragua

WASHINGTON, PA (July 17, 2023) - Managua, Nicaragua, has won PONY Baseball’s Caribbean Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

Managua defeated the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Ecuador, and Chiriqui, Panam, before taking down Panama City 3-1 to win the Caribbean Zone.

Head coach Rene Torres believes that the team’s pitching is its biggest strength and is proud of the heart the team displayed in the Caribbean Zone tournament. 

This is the first time a team from Nicaragua has qualified for the PONY League World Series in the tournament’s 71 years of existence. Rene is excited for the opportunity to represent Nicaragua.

“This is the first time a team from Nicaragua is participating in the World Series. We are looking forward to it and blessed,” said Rene. “This will open a lot of doors for Nicaragua PONY Baseball.”

The last Caribbean Zone champion to win the PONY World Series was in 2007 when Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, took home the title. The Caribbean Zone as a whole has won seven World Series titles, all of which have been claimed by teams from Puerto Rico.

Managua starts tournament play at Lew Hays PONY Field on Saturday, August 12, at 2:30PM/ET, with a matchup against the East Zone champion.

Mexico Zone - Monterrey, Mexico

WASHINGTON, PA (June 21, 2023) - Monterrey, Mexico, has won PONY Baseball’s Mexico Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

The run to the World Series was started by Monterrey going undefeated in the state championship. Momentum was carried over into the national championship where Monterrey stayed undefeated and booked a trip to Washington, Pennsylvania.

Coach Enrique Hinojosa was pleased with his team’s performance in the zone tournament, and overall the past couple of years.

“It has been great. Last year we lost the first game in the national championship, and won all the following games except for the championship game of last year’s PONY League World Series.”

It’s a story of reunion for Monterrey in Washington, Pennsylvania, as they return as last year’s World Series runner-ups. In addition to the experience three returning players gained last year in the PONY League World Series, five players hail from last year’s PONY-13 League World Series runner-up team as well. 
The coaching staff made up of Gerardo Leal, a former professional baseball pitcher, Miguel Alejandro, and Hinojosa believe their team is strong enough to compete for the title once again.

“Both teams lost the championship game in each tournament so they are all very motivated to come back to try to win it all this year,” said Hinojosa. “We have great pitching, starters and relievers. Similar to last year, this is our strength.”

Monterrey has a long history with PONY, being the first international team to play in the series in 1959. Their rich history is also filled with success as Monterrey was the 1972 PONY League World Series Champions.

Monterrey gets a first round bye and will play its first game of the 2023 tournament against the winner of the Caribbean Zone and East Zone match-up at 1:00PM/ET on August 13 at Lew Hays PONY Field in Washington, Pennsylvania.

European Zone - Paderborn, Germany

WASHINGTON, PA (June 14, 2023) - Paderborn, Germany, has won PONY Baseball’s European Zone to qualify for the 2023 Printscape PONY League World Series.

The European Zone championship tournament was held in Prague, Czech Republic in May. Germany cruised through the tournament, outscoring opponents 88-4 to secure their bid.

Head Coach, Georg Friedrich Bull, was proud of how his team played in their qualifying tournament.

“We played a very good tournament, especially in the semi-finals and finals against teams that were stronger than the scores suggest.”

In preparation for the Series, all players will participate in the upcoming MLB U15 Cadets Camp in Paderborn as well as play in the European Cup in Tvna, Slovakia.

Germany has qualified several times for the PONY League World Series to play as the representatives of Europe in the past. In their last appearance in 2016, they notched a win behind Elian Genter’s 5 inning no-hitter. This year’s representatives are looking to learn from past successes and put together a successful tournament run.

“We were hoping to qualify and be able to participate in this prestigious and high quality event in Washington, Pennsylvania. The boys are excited to play top competition in that beautiful PONY stadium,” said Friedrich Bull. “We are a tight group of players and coaches, team spirit is high, and we believe we have the pitching, fielding, and batting skills to compete.”

Germany starts tournament play at Lew Hays PONY Field Saturday August 12, at 12:00PM/ET, with a matchup against Washington County, Pennsylvania.
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