Two local baseball teams will have a home-field advantage this weekend.

The advantage comes as the 2021 South Carolina Dixie Youth Baseball AA Coach Pitch and Majors Division 1 & 2 state tournaments will be played at the Orangeburg Recreation Park.

The Orangeburg AA Coach Pitch All-Stars and Majors All-Star teams will be hitting the fields, competing so the championship hardware can call Orangeburg home. Tournament play will begin Saturday at 9 a.m.

Orangeburg All-Stars Majors Manager Shane Burroughs said the team is looking forward to the competition.

“We’re excited. We think we’ve got the talent to compete at a high level, and we think when we step on the field, we can play with anyone,” Burroughs said.

“We have a team that’s pretty balanced with 11 and 12-year-olds, and these young men have played baseball together since they were 8. I know I’ve coached them since they were 7 and 8 years old,” Burroughs said.

Burroughs said the team has performed well recently, despite not competing in district play.

“We haven’t played because we’re hosting the state, so we did not have to play in the district to make it to state. We had an automatic bye, which I would have preferred to play at district. But we’ve scrimmaged a couple of teams and done well,” Burroughs said.

Last year, baseball, along with all other normal operations, was put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. Burroughs said the pause canceled a one-time opportunity for a talented team with high hopes.

WATCH NOW: Orangeburg welcoming Dixie Youth state tournaments

“Last year, we thought that we had a veteran team that could totally represent the state of South Carolina in the World Series, and that opportunity was stripped from these young men, and they’ll never have to play that all-star season, or at that level ever again. That frustrated me, and I was so disappointed for them because they had played since they were in tee-ball to get to that level, where we had the team to win the state. … We definitely had the talent,” Burroughs said.

Now the opportunity for a championship is available again, and Burroughs said the team is ready to play.

“I expect us to compete at a high level, I expect us to play the game the right way, and good players make coaches look very good. We’ve got the players to make the coaches look very good,” Burroughs said.

“Hopefully, we can make Orangeburg very proud, and maybe put us on the map if we can get to the Dixie Youth World Series,” Burroughs said.

Branchville is host for state softball tourney

“I expect us to represent Orangeburg with class, and to make Orangeburg proud. Baseball is like life. You are going to make mistakes, and when you’re at the plate, you’re going to fail more times than you succeed. I tell my kids all the time if you’re fortunate to make it to the big leagues, and you fail seven out of 10 times, you make it to the Hall of Fame,” Burroughs said.

Hosting a state tournament was not possible a few years ago, but the construction of the new complex has created recreational opportunities for the city.

Burroughs said he is glad the tournament will be played in Orangeburg.

“I can’t say enough about our facilities and how fortunate and blessed we are to have the facilities that we have and to have the state tournament in Orangeburg,” Burroughs said.

Burroughs said it brings an opportunity for Orangeburg, and for people to experience Orangeburg and see what the city is about.

Tournament play concludes Wednesday, July 14.

Admission is $8 per day or $25 for a tournament pass. Children 4 and under are admitted for free. Pets are not allowed inside the complex.

Official tournament brackets will be posted on the City of Orangeburg Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page. A full list of all brackets for South Carolina state tournaments can be found at www.southcarolina.dixie.org.

For questions and more information regarding the tournament, contact the City of Orangeburg Parks and Recreation Department at 803-533-6020.

Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-596-6530

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