Bluffton will have not one, but two teams competing for the Dixie Youth Baseball AA Machine Pitch state championship July 6-9 in Florence.
The 8-and-under all-stars from the Bluffton American and Bluffton National teams squared off three times in the District 8 tournament in Walterboro, with American bouncing back from a 10-9, extra-innings loss to National to beat their intra-league rivals twice for the district title.
But both teams earned bids to the state tournament by reaching the title game, meaning 24 players from Bluffton will take aim at a state championship starting July 6.
Bluffton National will kick things off at 9 a.m. Saturday against District 11 runner-up North Myrtle Beach, while American will open its title quest at 11 a.m. against host Delmae. The double-elimination tournament continues through Tuesday with the champion advancing to the Dixie World Series from July 26-30 in Ruston, La.
Both teams are raising funds to help offset the costs of traveling to the state tournament by soliciting sponsorships, selling raffle tickets, and setting up outside local businesses. Both teams also have set up GoFundMe campaign pages online.
Justin Jarrett has been covering sports in the Lowcountry since 2005 and is the founder of LowcoSports.com.