YOUNGSVILLE — Play ball!
Young baseball players from around the country and as far away as Mexico and the Philippines will be in Youngsville on Thursday for the start of the PONY Mustang League World Series, which will be held Aug. 6-9 at the city’s Sports Complex.
The opening ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, with the playing of the national anthems of each country represented by a team. The first games are at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The World Series’ host team — all-stars selected from the Broussard Youngsville Youth Association — plays Hawaii at 8 p.m.
The teams of 9- and 10-year-old boys started arriving Wednesday, with most traveling with parents and other family members for a few days’ stay at Lafayette hotels, said Tim Robichaux, director of the sports complex that opened in 2014.
The players, their families and coaches come from all over: Mount Vernon, Illinois; Corpus Christi, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Chesterfield, Virginia; Maui, Hawaii; Tanauan, Philippines; and Cucapah San Luis Colorado, Mexico.
“We’d like to invite the community out to watch the games,” Robichaux said.
Kayla Reaux, president of the BYYA, said the local kids “are 100 percent pumped up about it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Reaux said Broussard and Youngsville kids’ participation in the PONY Mustang World Series is being well-publicized on social media sites like Facebook.
“The boys are ready, but they’ll have some good competition. I think it’ll be an amazing experience,” Reaux said.
At least 15 games will be played on the sports complex’s fields, with games scheduled for 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday.
On Sunday, the semifinals will start at 10 a.m., with the championship game starting at 6 p.m.
Series passes for all four days can be purchased at several locations in southern Lafayette Parish: Nunu’s Fresh Market; Hot Dawg Stop; Keller’s Bakery in Youngsville; Rotolo’s Pizzeria; Farmers State Bank; and Phone Zone.
Passes also are available at Youngsville City Hall and at the Sports Complex. The passes cost $24 for adults and $12 for children 12 or younger.
Game-day tickets are available at the gate for $8 for adults and $4 for children.