The event draws teams from PONY’s 8-11-year-old divisions. And while not an official part of the PONY World Series, the Shetland Division, which features 6-year-olds, will hold a tournament Saturday and Sunday.
“I expect that we’ll have several thousand people come to Brentwood,” said Brentwood PONY President Paul Slay. “They’ll be coming from as far north as Sacramento, west as Modesto and the South Bay.”
The winners of the 9- and 11-year-old divisions will move on to the Zone Championships, comprising teams from the western United States. Brentwood’s PONY organization will field at least one team in all four age groups.
Teams that have qualified are already deep into their run toward winning a championship in their respective age groups. Unlike some of this year’s previous qualifying tournaments, the PONY World Series allows no teams other than age-group champions to advance to the next level.
“We’re excited; this is a huge event,” Slay said. “Last year, we hosted just 9- and 11-year-olds. They (PONY League) like Brentwood and that we as a league run tournaments. It’s a full day of baseball every day to meet the needs of all the divisions. We’re lucky to have the fields that we do. Our fields are a lot better than some of the other fields that we played in.”
Slay also acknowledged that help from companies such as Raley’s, Safeway and Sports Authority make the event run smoother. “The community has put out,” Slay said. “The city has given us a break on the field rental. It’s definitely a community event. We’re the only baseball program in town. It’s awesome that we’ve had the support from the community we’ve had over the last few years.”
All the week’s games take place at Sunset Fields, 655 Sunset Road in Brentwood, and run through Sunday evening. Games are scheduled for Friday, July 13 from 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, July 14 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.