- Last Updated on 07:14 AM 08/02/13
- BY Doug Ford
The Halifax County Dixie Junior Boys baseball all-stars made short work of their opponents during the recent state tournament held at the Day Complex.
It was all business then, and it will continue to be all business at the Dixie Baseball Junior Dixie Boys World Series starting Saturday in Columbus, Georgia, according to Manager Donnie Balducci.
“I asked any of them if they’d ever been to a World Series before, whether travel ball or Dixie Youth and they said they haven’t,” said Balducci, who has been to one series as a coach five years ago.
“It’s real exciting to go to a World Series. We’re going down there to have fun, but we’re going down there to take care of business, also.
“Our number one goal right now is beating Georgia Saturday afternoon at 4 o’clock.”
The keys to success this postseason have been solid pitching and hitting, with contributions from the entire lineup, according to Balducci.
“Just about anybody can throw the ball, but we’ve got great pitchers,” explained Balducci.
“We’ve got 12 good players, with nine starters and the three that come off the bench that can play any position and hit the ball.
“There’s no weakness.”
Without a district or regional tournament to hone their skills and mesh as a team, the team nonetheless came together at the state tournament with a dominating run to reach the World Series.
“We handled each team relatively easy,” and “we scored 28, 22 and 11 runs in three games,” said Balducci,
“When you score that many runs, you have to be hitting the ball good, and we have a lot of good hitters.
“We had one boy I know hit over .800 for the tournament.
“I won’t pick out one kid in particular, because all of them are good kids and have done a good job whenever we needed them.”
Balducci said the team is taking a business-like approach to the World Series.
“I told them when we get down there we have opening ceremonies on Friday, and curfew will be at 10 o’clock,” he pointed out.
“We’re going on a business trip, and we’re going to take care of business while we’re down there.”
The team he helped coach five years ago finished second in the Dixie Junior Boys World Series but didn’t have the pitching depth his current team has, and that is the big advantage they’ll have this time around, according to Balducci.
“We ran out of pitching then, but I don’t think we’ll run out of pitching this year,” said Balducci.
“It’s got to be focus on one game at a time, and our first goal is Georgia.
“If we take care of business, I think we’ll represent the State of Virginia and Halifax County real well.”