Centennial hosting 23rd DP Little World Series

The stage is set for the 23rd annual Dean Patterson Little World Series.

The youth baseball tournament, with 19 teams representing seven different leagues in Blair County, opens Saturday at the Altoona Independent Youth Baseball League’s Centennial Field, next to Mansion Park.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 10 a.m. with all 19 teams on the field in uniform. Dean Patterson will throw out the first pitch, and the first game is slated to start at 11:30 a.m.

“We’re really hoping to get some good crowds out to the games,” said Carl “Pugs” Adams, a tournament board member along with Jamie Morris and Denny Martin Sr., and umpire in chief Tom Stoner. “It’s free admission, and we’ll have all kinds of food imaginable.”

The tournament is single elimination with six games slated for Saturday and five for Sunday. Two quarterfinal games will be held Monday, and two will take place Tuesday. The semifinals are scheduled for Thursday with the consolation and championship on tap for next Saturday, Aug. 2.

Wednesday will be used as a rain date, and a base-running contest will be held next Friday at 6 p.m. and a home run derby at 8 p.m. All games and events are at Centennial Field.

Highlighting the field of teams this year are league champions Cumming Motors of East End, ERA Sports of Altoona Independent and Wolf Furniture of the Altoona Area Baseball Association. East End has four teams, including runner-up Dean Patterson, Independent has four teams, including runner-up Thompson’s Pharmacy and last year’s DPLWS champion Sheetz, and AABA has five teams, including runner-up State Farm Insurance Mike Crownover and all-city Shaughnessy champ Drenning Delivery.

Other teams include two teams from the Logan Township Youth Baseball League, two from the Bellwood league, Williamsburg’s Upper Deck and Claysburg’s McCabe Trucking. It’s the first year for a team from Claysburg.

“We reached out to other areas, like Huntingdon, Southern Huntingdon and Northern Bedford,” Adams said. “The timing wasn’t right for some of those leagues this year, but we’re gearing up for a 24-team field in 2015.”

Next year’s tournament is already scheduled to be held in Bellwood, and Adams said Patterson has already given a three-year commitment to the tournament.

The tournament website, dplws.com, will also be updated throughout the tournament, according to Adams.