RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The West Raleigh Blue 12-U baseball team practiced for the final time on Wednesday in preparation for this weekend’s Cal Ripken World Series, an accomplishment five years in the making.
“To see where they’ve come since they were 8 years old is just amazing,” head coach Rick Pate said.
There have been some setbacks along the way for this talented group of players but they always seem to bounce back.
In the semifinals this past weekend, West Raleigh was down to its final out, but fought back to force extra innings before knocking off Madison, Florida to reach the World Series.
“An opportunity to fly to a tournament, Cal Ripken is gracious enough to fly us up to the event,” explained Pate. “It’s like being treated like a pro-athlete for these kids so it’s a great experience for them.”
For the third straight year a team from West Raleigh has advanced to the World Series. Last year’s team won it all.
Now, West Raleigh Blue takes center stage.
“It’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’ll try to meet as many people as possible and have fun,” said shortstop Payton Green.
They are about to have the time of their lives. All the hard world and sacrifices made through the years have paid off.
Thirteen young kids have found success while coming together as a team.
“We always had bonding time and never really got really mad at each other,” stated Joey Ferrari. “We always had each other’s backs on the field.”
West Raleigh will have a bull’s eye on those backs but that’s just fine with them.
A dream five years in the making is about to come true.