District I eyes another shot at Big League baseball glory

“It was probably one of the best experience of my life when it comes to baseball,” Tommy Jordan recalled. “It’s something you never forget.” (Delaware State News file photo)

“It was probably one of the best experience of my life when it comes to baseball,” Tommy Jordan recalled. “It’s something you never forget.” (Delaware State News file photo)

DOVER — The District I Big League All-Star team has an abundance of new faces compared to last year’s squad that reached the World Series.

There are only four holdovers from the team that qualified to Easley, S.C. a summer ago.

And after experiencing the thrill of a world tournament, they want to bring this squad back there again.

“It was probably one of the best experience of my life when it comes to baseball,” Tommy Jordan recalled. “It’s something you never forget. It’s something I always wanted to do since I was 12 and I’m definitely looking forward to see if we can do it again.”

That starts on Saturday when the Big League East Regional begins play at Dover Little League. The Kent County team will find out who they are playing in the first round when the matchups are drawn this afternoon.

Jordan, of Felton-Harrington, is one of the returners from the 2015 East Regional championship team along with Felton-Harrington’s Cole Garey, Dover’s Dallas Willey and Smyrna-Clayton’s John Barkley.

“I want to go back there real bad,” Barkley said of the World Series. “It was probably one of the most fun times I had playing baseball. It’s just so much fun.”

This year’s version of the squad is younger than a year ago, but Willey, one of Kent County’s pitchers, says he likes the way the team can swing the bats which will hopefully lead to plenty of run support.

“The thing that stands out is our hitting,” Willey said. “We got a lot of young guys, last year we had a couple older guys, some college guys mixed in but we got a team that hits. As a pitcher, that’s what I really like. I know when I go out there I have nine guys that can bat some guys in for me.”

The 17-member roster is led by eight players from Felton-Harrington, who won the District I regular season title. Its manager is Felton-Harrington’s L.B. Stubbs who is joined by players Jordan, Garey, Dillon Cole, Cody Cole, Eric Berardicelli, Jordan Simpson, Louis Whitaker and Tyler Collins.

Dover has four players (Willey, Cameron Turner, Semaj Kelly, Jared Hickox) while Carlton Voak, Quintin Ivy and Noah DeAtley represent Camden-Wyoming. Barkley and Brendan Davis round out the squad as members from Smyrna-Clayton.

The All-Stars aren’t letting the fact they are the defending champions affect how they play in the tournament.

“I don’t think it’s pressure it’s just baseball which we’ve been doing our whole lives,” Jordan said. “We just have to come out and do what we did last year to go back.”

The tournament is scheduled to run from Saturday to Wednesday featuring teams from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

The championship game will be Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. to decide who goes to the Big League World Series, July 26-Aug. 2 in Easley, S.C.

“I always want to win no matter what it is and something that big, the World Series, I just want to go back real bad,” Willey said. “With this young group of guys, we definitely have the talent to do it and I can’t wait for the opportunity.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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