ROCKINGHAM — Danny Lampley is realistic about his team's chances in next week's Pony League Mustang South Region tournament.
That doesn't mean Lampley doesn't believe his team can't win, he knows it isn't going to be easy.
Rockingham received a bid to the tournament because it will be the host team at the tournament starting 5 p.m. Tuesday at Browder Park. The other four teams will be section winners.
“It's going to be tough,” Lampley said. “We're going to have to play some good teams.”
Rockingham will face the West Section champion 5 p.m. Tuesday on Field 2. At the same time, the South Section and Piedmont Section winners will battle on Field 1. The winner of the Rockingham-West Section contest will be forced to play a doubleheader and take on the Northeast Section champion at 7 p.m.
Lampley elected to take his squad to a travel tournament to have them face some competition while the other Mustang division teams were battling for the right to advance to Rockingham. Lampley said he wanted to expose his players to the kind of teams he expects to be playing next week.
“Some of them haven't seen that kind of competition,” Lampley said. “It was kind of like throwing them to the wolves.”'
Lampley added he expects some of the teams that his team will face come from programs that attract hundreds of players. Rockingham has a fraction of that in its entire program.
Despite the opposition having a deeper talent pool to select from, Lampley doesn't believe his team will get run off the field in any of the games.
At least he hopes.
“We have some very good, talented players,” Lampley said. “If we pitch well, which I think we will do, and can swing the bat, we will be in most games.”
Rockingham Blue falls in opener
HIGH POINT — Rockingham Blue dropped its first game of the Pony League East Zone Pinto tournament to Suffolk Youth Nationals 25-15 in five innings.
Rockingham Blue will take on Western Branch Gold at 12:30 p.m. today in an elimination contest.
West Raleigh advances to Bronco final
ROCKINGHAM — West Raleigh rallied from its first deficit of the Pony League Piedmont Bronco Section to defeat Garner 6-5 Friday night.
Ben Peterson recorded a bloop single into right center with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to knock in the winning run for West Raleigh.
Reliever Josh Holloman retired Garner in order in the top of the seventh to close out the victory.
Southwest Randolph defeated Garner 10-7 in the nightcap. Southwest Randolph will face West Raleigh at 10 a.m. Saturday in the finals. Southwest Randolph will have to beat West Raleigh twice to win the section title.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.