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North Babe Ruth to host Spring Fling

April 3, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

If you're a fan of youth baseball, the North Fort Myers Community Park is the place to be this week.

North Fort Myers Babe Ruth will host the inaugural Spring Fling baseball tournament starting today, and going through Sunday, where teams of all age groups will battle for bragging rights in the region.

In addition to local teams, Clewiston, Alva, Punta Gorda, Naples and Sanibel are expected to bring a total of 55 teams to play 68 games for players ages 5 through 14 in five age groups.

Jason Estes, president of the league, said he hopes this will become an annual event as a way for teams in the region to get ready for the postseason.

"The All-Stars enjoy travelling and seeing other teams. We're trying to give that experience to the rec teams to create excitement and bring more competition," Estes said. "It brings teams from outside instead of playing the same teams all the time."

Estes said the league presidents met at the start of the season and came up with the idea.

Play will start with a single T-ball game Wednesday as a kickoff. Full slates of eight games will take place Thursday and Friday nights starting at 6 p.m., with games throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8:30 a.m.

Teams will be placed in three- or four-team pools, with round robin play taking place throughout the weekend.

Estes said another reason for the tournament is to standardize the way the games are played, as some leagues play a little different or are not competitive. This way it helps the leagues play by the same rules and increase popularity in the community.

"We adopted the tournament rules three years ago and as far as I know, we're the only ones who have done it for all ages. Alva and Punta Gorda have since followed suit," Estes said. "We want to teach them the rules for when they reach the older divisions."

Estes said he has seen the excitement in the kids and their parents over being able to see how good they are against other competition.

Zach Woodhams, coach of the T-Ball Blue Jays, said he is looking forward to all the teams coming to town.

"It's nice to see where everybody is at. We've played against each other for the most part, except one game against Cape Coral," Woodhams said. "The kids are ready to play against someone else. Hopefully, we can wake them up."

For additional information about the Spring Fling, go to North Fort Myers Babe Ruth's Facebook page.



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