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Apr, 2018

39th annual Palomino World Series finds new home in Laredo

PONY Baseball and Softball, the PONY South Zone, the City of Laredo, Texas and Laredo PONY League are proud to announce that the 2018 Palomino (18U) Baseball World Series will be played at Uni-Trade Stadium in Laredo, Texas, Aug. 3-6.

The City of Laredo and Laredo PONY did a sensational job hosting the 2017 South Zone Girls Softball World Series in July and return as the event’s hosts in 2018. Given the hosts’ ability to stage a world-class event of its magnitude, with over 150 teams playing in over 500 games at seven locations in five days, Laredo was a natural fit as a partner for the Palomino World Series.

“PONY Baseball and Softball is very excited to relocate the Palomino League World Series to Laredo, Texas in 2018 and 2019,” stated Abraham Key, PONY President & CEO. “Laredo has hosted several high level events for PONY in the past and always provides a first-class atmosphere, facilities and team experience.”

The great city of Laredo was founded by Don Tomas Sanches in 1755. It is located on the banks of the Rio Grande River. For centuries, its geographical location has made it the trading point for two nations. Today, Laredo is the nation’s largest inland port and has a population of 295,000 people. Rich in history and diverse in its cultures, Laredo offers its visitors great food, shopping, world-class entertainment facilities, in a warm and friendly environment.

The Palomino World Series will be held at Uni-Trade Stadium. This is the home of Laredo’s professional baseball team, the Tecolotes de Los Laredos, a minor league baseball team of the Mexican League. The stadium, which has a capacity of 6,000 seats, opened in May of 2012. The venue can also hold 16,000 for concerts and other events. Uni-Trade Stadium served as the site of last year’s South Zone Girls Softball World Series Opening Ceremony.

“We are honored to host this prestigious tournament,” said Vidal Rodriguez, Laredo City Council Member District 2. “Laredo is a baseball town with a rich history and a flavor all its own. We’re excited to have these great competitors come to the Gateway City and showcase their talent here.”

Laredo PONY has been a program on-the-rise since the beginning of the decade. Most notably, Laredo won the 2011 Pony League World Series title, defeating annual contender Chinese Taipei 10-9 in a championship game that was one for the ages. Among Laredo’s other World Series appearances include: Mustang-9 (2016), Bronco-11 (2013-14), Pony-13 (2010-11, 2013, 2015), Pony (2011-12, 2016) and Colt (2011-12). It will be Laredo’s first appearance in a Palomino World Series.

“Laredo PONY is proud to have such a great event come to our community,” said Richard Rosas, Laredo PONY President. “We had a great time hosting last year’s South Zone Girls Softball World Series. We look forward to highlighting the athletes from the Asia-Pacific, Caribbean and Mexico Zones, as well as the U.S. East, West, South and North Zone Champions together with our very own Laredo team. This is not only a Laredo first, but it is a Texas first.”

The Palomino World Series is the pinnacle of achievement, as it is the premiere tournament for 18-year-old (and under) PONY baseball players from all over the world. Former participants in the event who are now active players in the Major Leagues include: Donnie Hart (2009 – Baltimore Orioles), Kyle Hendricks (2008 – Chicago Cubs), Austin Barnes (2007 – Los Angeles Dodgers), Paul Goldschmidt (2004 - Arizona Diamondbacks), Troy Tulowitzki (2002 – Toronto Blue Jays) and David Freese (2001 – Pittsburgh Pirates).

An eight-team tournament, the Palomino World Series will feature the Asia-Pacific Zone Champion, Mexico Zone Champion, Caribbean Zone Champion, United States Zone Champions from the East, North, South and West, as well as Host Laredo. Over four days, the eight teams will battle it out on the diamond in upwards of 16 games to determine the title for Palomino World Series champion.

The Palomino World Series comes to Laredo following an 18-year run in which the event was played across the state of California (Santa Clara 2000-04, 2016-17; Rancho Cucamonga 2007; San Jose 2008-10; and Compton 2011-14) and in Caguas, Puerto Rico for a two-year stint (2005-06). Prior to 2000, the event enjoyed a 14-year run in Greensboro, North Carolina from 1986-99. The first-ever Palomino World Series was played in San Jose, California in 1980, while also calling Covina, California (1982-83) and Cincinnati, Ohio (1984-85) home.

At the 2017 Palomino World Series, every game was a battle. In the tournament’s first two days alone, five of the eight games were decided by two runs or fewer. East Zone Champion Youngstown, Ohio forced an “if necessary” semifinal game versus eventual finalist Santa Clara (Soldiers), California (3-1), and Mexico Zone Champion Tijuana, Baja California knocked out eventual champion Los Gatos, California’s fiercest opponent, Santa Clara (Red Sox) 2-1. Despite leaving 28 runners on base in four games, Los Gatos’ offense still mustered over seven runs per game on average with Batting Champion Emilio Nogales in the lineup. Defensively, 10 different pitchers saw time on the mound for Los Gatos and opposing hitters (.194 team batting average) seemed to be off-balance with seeing so many different deliveries. Ultimately, the the team shined when it mattered most, as Los Gatos won its first Palomino World Series in the 38th year of the event.

Click here to find the official Palomino World Series bracket, and follow and, as well as PONY Baseball and Softball’s social media accounts for more announcements leading up to the event.

PONY Baseball and Softball

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