EUGENE, Ore -- The Willamette Valley All Stars are headed to the World Series.
The western Oregon team will represent the Pacific Northwest in the Cal Ripken World Series in Branson, Missouri. Cal Ripken is a division of Babe Ruth representing players 12 years old and younger.
Earning this spot in the World Series was no easy feat. The 15-member team practiced hard and advanced by winning the Pacific Northwest Regional tournament. While 1,500 teams from around the country had the same goal, only 16 made the cut.
There are eight teams that won their regional tournament plus eight team who qualified last year by also winning the regional tournament. In addition, there are eight international teams that make up the international side of the tournament.
The winner of the U.S. side will play the winner of the international side for the Cal Ripken World Series title.
"Obviously, the goal is to win, but overall it's to have fun and a great experience that you will remember for the rest of your life," said Jack Pintens, pitcher and third baseman.
"It's been really fun. I like playing with all the kids on the team. We have fun and we play really good ball together. We are friends on and off the field. I can't wait," added Easton McDonald, second baseman and outfielder.
The community has generously donated $35,000 to help cover travel costs.
Pool play starts Aug. 5 at 3 p.m CDT. All games are streamed live. Click here for link.