UNION — The ongoing Dixie Youth State Tournament at Timken Sports Complex has made a positive impact on Union County as well as resulting in one local team advancing to the World Series.
On Tuesday, a large crowd roared with excitement as the Union County Machine Pitch All-Stars defeated Delmae to become State Champions and advance to the Dixie Youth World Series. The team will advance to play against teams from numerous southern states.
The Dixie Youth State Tournament began on Friday with an opening ceremony and home run derby. The ceremony was catered by Midway Barbecue and fed around 700 people.
The tournament began with 36 teams in three divisions — “O” Zone, Machine Pitch, and Coach Pitch. Competing teams were (Coach Pitch) Pineview National, McLeod Park, Hartsville Northern, Sumter National, Clinton, Seneca, Union, Kershaw National, Pineview American, Johnsonville, Hartsville National, Westminster, (Machine Pitch) Batesburg-Leesville, Aynor, Irmo, Bluffton American, Darlington, Lancaster, Belton, Delmae, Gregg Park, Georgetown, Parks Field, Union, (“O” Zone) Lancaster, Greenwood, Hilton Head, Georgetown, Westminster, Blythewood, Edgefield County, Union, Abbeville, Midland, Jefferson and Sumter.
Timken Sports Complex Director Kevin Shropshire estimated around 2,000 people in the complex on Friday and Saturday, with numbers beginning to drop on Sunday as teams began to be eliminated.
Shropshire said he was glad to see such a large turnout for the tournament, which benefitted the local economy in the way of hotels, bed and breakfasts and restaurants. The tournament will continue through Thursday, when the “O” Zone State Championship will be determined.