EASLEY — The fields are manicured, the baselines drawn and teams are set as opening night for the Senior League Baseball World Series fast approaches.
Twelve teams from all over the globe are descending on the Upstate for the Series which had been previously held for the past 14 years in Bangor, Maine.
The teams West, Latin America, Europe-Africa, Central, Southwest, Asia-Pacific, Canada, Caribbean, Australia, East, Southeast and SC District 1 will all vie to be named best of the best come Saturday, but before then — a bit of a welcome.
On Friday, July 28, area residents are invited out to Old Market Square in downtown Easley for Fan Fest.
According to the Series’ website, a team parade will wind through Main Street before ending at the Amphitheater where the teams will be introduced amidst a festive atmosphere.
Food vendors, pin trading and entertainment provided by Jack N’ Diane’s Dueling Pianos are scheduled for the evening designed to get fans revved up for the first pitches to be thrown the following day at the J.B. Red Owens Sports Complex.
On Saturday, Game 1 commences at 9 a.m. with Southeast vs. East. Game 2 is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m and will pit Australia against Caribbean and fans will see Canada take on Asia-Pacific in Game 3 at 4 p.m.
The host team, SCD1, won’t take the field until Saturday evening when the local kids will go up against Southwest at 7:30 p.m.
Admission for the games is $5 for adults and $3 for students with kids 5-years and younger free of charge. Weekly passes are also available at the gates for $30 for adults and $15 for students and online at a discounted rate — $25 and $12, respectively.
Easley snagged the series from Bangor last year following the announcement of the discontinuation of the Big League World Series when Little League officials made the decision to cap the ages of players at 16.
At the time, Easley mayor Larry Bagwell said he was pleased with the decision and was “looking forward” to seeing how the series played out.
The championship game, broadcasted live by ESPN, will take place on Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.
For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.slbsw.org.