Cal Ripken 12U Regional tourney set to start

Staff photo by TOM KING New Caanan, Conn. Cal Ripken All-Star Alex Benevento leads the cheers at Friday night's Nashua Silver Knights game . Benevento's team is one of eight competing right behind Holman Stadium at Murray Field beginning Saturday as Nashua hosts the Cal Ripken 12U New England Regionals.

It’s tourney time.

As in Cal Ripken New England Regional baseball tourney, that is.

The time has finally arrived, and the best 12U teams in New England, including Nashua, begin their quest to get a spot in the 2018 Cal Ripken World Series, set for Branson, Missouri in August.

Games begin today at Nashua’s Murray Field (in front of Holman Stadium) and Dube Field (off Harris Road). It’s a double elimination tourney with the finals on Thursday at Murray Field at 5 p.m. and, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.

Three teams are from New Hampshire to fill out the eight-team field: Nashua, Keene, and Dover. The others are New Canaan, Conn.; Hudson, Mass.; Appanaug, R.I.; North Middlesex, Mass., and Freetown/Lakeville, Mass.

“I think it’ll be good,” tourney co-director Gary Smith said. “These are the top teams in New England. I think it (who may win) will be up in the air. They’re kids, so you never know.”

Today at Dube: Appanaug vs. Hudson, 12 p.m.; Freetown/Lakeville vs. Dover at 2:30 p.m.

Today at Murray: Keene vs. New Caanan, 12:30 p.m.; Nashua vs. North Middlesex, 3 p.m.

There are games at both fields again on Sunday, and things move exclusively to Murray beginning Monday. More information can be found at nashuacalripken.org.