Western begins search for LLWS

For three of the next four days — maybe longer — the Pine Bluff Western Little League All-Stars will grace the Longhorn Network in the Little League 11- and 12-year-old Southwest Regional in Waco, Texas.

But the Arkansas state champions don’t want the excitement to stop there. They want to take over the ESPN and ABC airwaves in the prestigious Little League World Series later this month.

To get to South Williamsport, Pa., Western will have to be the last team standing in Waco.

The journey to the regional championship and accompanying World Series berth begins Friday for Western when it takes on Albuquerque, New Mexico, at 1 p.m. in the opening game of the regional, which will be played at the George W. Bush Little League Leadership Training Center and Southwest Regional Complex.

The first four days are pool-play only, with each team playing three games. Western will play North Boulder, Colorado, at 1 p.m. Saturday, take Sunday off and play Biloxi, Mississippi, at 8:30 p.m. Monday in the last game of pool play.

The regional is broken into two pools — Western, North Boulder, Biloxi and Albuquerque in A; and South Lake Charles, Louisiana; Pittsburg County, Oklahoma; Pearland, Texas; and San Antonio, Texas, in B. The top two in each pool will compete in Tuesday’s semifinals, with the championship scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Longhorn Network can be found on Dish Network channel 407.

— I.C. Murrell