Despite the COVID situation, Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth (CRBR) was able to put together a national invitational tournament, held this last week in Branson Missouri. It was a Major 70 foot tournament. The only difference between this and HS, college and MLB, is the distance between bases, which is 70 vs. 90 feet. Everything else is the same.

Little League plays 60 foot baseball. No leadoffs, less stealing, no stealing home unless ball gets past the catcher and some other limitations.

CRBR is one of the two major governing bodies for youth baseball in the US and internationally, the other being Little League.  LL announced many weeks ago they were cancelling the entire 2020 state, regional and World Series tournament schedule due to COVID.

CRBR also cancelled many local leagues, their state and regional events, but wanted to provide a chance to it's top teams to compete for a 'world series' type of event.

Kennewick American's 12-U team was invited, stemming back from 2019.  CRBR has a 10-U and 12-U World Series, but not one for 11-U.  KAYB won the State Tournament last year as 11-year-old players. That earned them an automatic bid in THIS year's World Series tournament, which was squashed, along with most other CRBR league play--including KAYB and their crosstown neighbor and rival, Kennewick National Youth Baseball.

No youth baseball was played in Tri-Cities this year.

However, CRBR decided to hold what was called the National Invitational Tournament in Branson, MO, and wound up with several dozen teams from well over 12 states. Previous one year removed champions, state and regional champs and other highly ranked teams were invited.

KAYB wound up running the table, going 8-0 and cementing the championship with a 2-1 6th inning win over New England. They were the "Pacific Northwest" team competing as KAYB 12-U.

Congrats to the KAYB team, and another example of how some of the BEST youth baseball in WA state, the PNW and even nationally, is played in the Mid-Columbia. In a few years, you will see many of these players on a potential HS state championship team from the Tri-Cities...we've seen it before, we will again.

To see the bracket for KAYB, click on the button below.

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