Kennewick baseball team heading to national tournament, needs help covering costs

Cal Ripken Baseballl

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Kennewick American 12U baseball team is heading to a national tournament in Missouri this August — but they may need some help getting there.

The team won the title of Pacific Northwest Regional Champions last year as 11U All Stars, which qualified them for the 2020 Cal Ripken World Series in Branson, Missouri.

Then, the coronavirus pandemic happened.

Baseball’s spring season came to a screeching halt and eventually, the World Series was canceled.

“To say that the boys and coaches were devastated, was an understatement,” said Brandi Dimond, whose son plays on the team.

Clayton Rawlings, the team’s head coach, said the boys have worked hard for the success that they’ve earned. He said the team has qualified for the World Series for the past three years, since they were 9 years old, and most of the team has stuck together through those years.

The opportunity to play in another big tournament means a lot to them.

Last month, the team learned that the World Series had been changed to the Cal Ripken National Invitational, and that it would be going on as scheduled — just without any international teams. As Pacific Northwest champs, the local team was invited to play.

Rawlings said the team will be gone for 10 days, from Aug. 7 to 16, and the expenses for their trip won’t be cheap.

That’s why Dimond has set up a fundraiser on Facebook to raise money for their airfare, hotel, team van rental, luggage fees, new uniforms and matching face masks.

“Whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps,” Dimond wrote.

Click here if you’d like to donate.