Dixie Baseball is the New Game in Town - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Dixie Baseball is the New Game in Town

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - There's a new game in town at Britt David Park. The former North Columbus Babe Ruth League complex has become the home of West Georgia Dixie Baseball.

And in year one of existence, West Georgia Dixie was picked to host state tournaments both this weekend and next. League President Josh Barnes is grateful for the assistance they received to make the state tournament bids possible.

"A lot of people in Columbus have helped us," Barnes said. Parks and Rec has been instrumental for us. If you look at the fields, they're in awesome shape this year. People throughout the city, the Sports Council, other guys, have really helped promote us and get us out there."

The reason for the work was to get the fields adapted for Dixie Junior Boys play. In Dixie ball, the 13-year olds play with 80-foot baselines and 54-foot pitching distance, one of the reasons Barnes made the move to join the Dixie program in the first place.

"A lot of kids are intimidated from going from Little League to the 90/60 field," Barnes explained. "The 80/54 really allows those kids to take an intermediate step without hurting their arms. I talked to a couple of high school coaches that really support the Dixie program for that very same reason."

West Georgia All-Star shortstop and pitcher McKenzie Stringfellow agreed. "It makes it easier to transition from little league to different fields and stuff," he said. "The bases and pitching got you used to throwing longer and running longer."

There was also a different type of transition. A lot of the city's super-elite players are playing travel ball, not staying in town. The new Dixie program for 13-and up-drew nearly 200 kids looking for a place to play. For the regular season, that meant 10 teams of 13-and-14, six more of 15-and-up.

It was perfect for pitcher Sam Lowe. "I just really wanted to come play with my friends because I love baseball and my school (St. Luke) didn't really have a baseball team."

That comment had to be music to the ears of the Georgia Dixie Baseball State Director.

"We want to get more kids back out here playing baseball at this age group, 13-14," Mike McCullough said. "If we don't keep this opportunity open for these kids, what's going to happen is Rec ball is going to go away."

The Dixie state tournaments won't be going away any time soon. The Junior Boys and Boys titles will be decided this week, and the Dixie Majors tournament gets underway on Saturday.

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Dixie Junior Boys results:

Monday, July 11

Game 5: West Georgia White 9, North Macon 5 (North Macon eliminated/West Georgia White to Finals)

Tuesday, July 12

Game 6: Newton County vs. West Georgia White, 8:00 pm

Wednesday, July 13

Game 7: If needed, 8:00 pm

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Dixie Boys results:

Monday, July 11

Game 13: West Georgia Purple 14, Pike County 1 (Pike County eliminated)

Game 14: Columbia County 4, Brookwood 0 (Brookwood eliminated)

Game 15: Baconton Blazers 6, Warner Robins National 6 (Warner Robins National eliminated)

Game 16: Lee County 2, Newton County 1

Tuesday, July 12

Game 17: West Georgia Purple vs. Newton County, 5:00 pm (loser eliminated)

Game 18: Columbia County vs. Baconton Blazers, 5:00 pm (loser eliminated)

Game 19: Lee County vs. Troup County, 8:00 pm ET

Wednesday, July 13

Game 20: Winner Game 18 vs. Loser Game 19, 5:00 pm

Game 21: Winner Game 17 vs. Winner Game 19, 8:00 pm

Thursday, July 14

Game 22: Winner Game 20 vs. Winner Game 21, 5:00 pm

Friday, July 15

Game 23, If needed, 5:00 pm

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