Tournament Time


EASLEY — Coming off a rousing return to Easley last summer after a two-year COVID-19 layoff, the Senior League World Series will be returning to Pickens County this weekend.

The tournament, which pits the best 13-16-year-old baseball players from around the world against each other, will feature six international teams and six U.S. teams and will kick off this Saturday, July 29, at the J.B. “Red” Owens Complex and run through Aug. 5.

As of press time Tuesday, the international division’s qualifiers had all been chosen, while all United States division teams remained in qualifier play.

The first team selected for the tournament was host S.C. District 1. The team, which is comprised of 16 of the area’s best young players, is looking to build upon its 2-2 finish in the 2022 tournament. District 1 will play the winner of the Central regional at 7:30 p.m. on opening night.

S.C. District 1 is set to be represented by Greyson Austin (Wren), Ayden Beeco (Easley), Eli Bledsoe (Liberty), Ayden Clay (Pendleton), Landon Fowler (Powdersville), Connor Johnson (Wren), Blane Jordan (Powdersville), Tobie Lowe (Walhalla), Joey McGovern (Seneca), Jasean Perry (Daniel), Bolton Pritchard (Wren), Aedan Queen (Pendleton), Kade Scruggs (Pendleton), Jonathan Sonderfan (Easley), Trey Sutton (Easley) and Austin Vinson (Wren). Easley High School’s Cooper Sears and Banks Gambrell are listed as alternates for District 1.

Based in Ryde, Australia, the Ryde Hawks were the first team to qualify on the international side following their win in the Australian regional on May 12. The Hawks went 5-0 in regional play and defeated the Eastern Phantoms 6-4 to advance to the SLWS.

The next team to qualify was Matamoros from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. One of two teams from Mexico competing in the regional, Matamoros went unbeaten over the course of the Latin American tournament and beat their country mates from Guadalupe Linda Vista 6-5 in the championship.

In the Caribbean region, Pabao Little League, representing Willemstad, Curacao, earned their spot in the Senior League series by going a perfect 8-0 in regional play. Just like the Latin American champions, Radamés López found themselves in battle of compatriots, facing off with fellow Curacaons, Pariba Little League in the championship.

In early July, Kennemerland Little League, of Haarlem, Netherlands, pulled through in the Europe-Africa regional, going 4-1 on its way to Easley. Facing off with South Czech Republic Little League of the Czech Republic in the finals, Lazio Little League emerged victorious, 7-2.

In the final completed international regional, the East Nepean Little League, of Ottawa, Ontario, upset the previously unbeaten Diamond Baseball Little League team 3-2 in the regional championship to punch its ticket to Easley with a final record of 4-3.

As of press time, there was no information available on the final international regional in the Asia-Pacific region.

Stateside, there was still plenty of baseball to be played at press time Tuesday, with East regional champion Cherry Hill Atlantic Little League, of Cherry Hill, N.J., having won the lone completed U.S. regional.

Sixteen teams were still vying for the top spots in the Central, Southeast, Southwest and West regionals, which were set to be determined by Wednesday at the latest, making for a short preparation time for the trip to Easley.

The day before the series begins on Friday, July 28, the city will host a Fan Fest downtown, including a parade of the teams and a concert with a performance by Ansley Burns. The parade will start at 6:30 p.m.

SLWS games will begin Saturday, July 30, opening up with the Southwest regional champion taking on the West regional champion before finishing the night with Pickens County’s own S.C. District 1 team taking on the Central regional champions.

For more about the Senior League World Series in Easley, visit