ESPN arrives for Little League semifinals

awoolen@macon.comAugust 6, 2013 


Florida players and coaches are filmed by an ESPN crew Tuesday at Little League Southeast Park.


WARNER ROBINS -- ESPN has a new play-by-play announcer in the booth for the Little League Baseball Southeastern Regional Tournament.

Joe Davis will make his debut at the stadium replacing Clay Matvick, who has called the past four tournaments.

This will be Davis’ first time announcing a Little League game.

He will be joined by Chris Singleton, who returns for his fifth year of broadcasting the Southeastern Regional in Warner Robins.

“When most people think of Little League, they don’t think of this. It is really impressive,” Davis said of the stadium.

Although he played baseball and football in high school, Davis said the facilities weren’t close to what Little League Southeast Park has.

“It certainly looks like a special place,” he said.

Returning as producer is Matt Leach, who said he was excited to be back in town to get a second chance at doing some things better.

He said he wanted to be prepared for the game to last four innings or four hours.

“Every second counts in broadcast,” Leach said.

There will also not be a Georgia team in the championship game for the first time since the tournament moved to Warner Robins.

For Leach, the crowds are just a bonus.

“Big crowds are nice, but the kids are the field are what is important,” Leach said. “The cameras will be focused on the effort they are putting forth and the fun they are having.”

The cameras were rolling Tuesday as it took South Carolina manager Chris Wilder a few times to get the wording right for the introductions of the team.

Northwood Little League is representing South Carolina.

“After the first four takes, I was fine,” said Wilder with a smile.

Wilder said he isn’t concerned about his team’s response to the high pressure of being on national television.

“We’ve responded well to big crowds,” Wilder said.

South Carolina’s first game was against Columbus Northern Little League of Georgia, a game that drew a few hundred fans last Friday.

Wilder said the team had to beat Irmo Little League twice in South Carolina’s state championship game to come to Warner Robins, and the team bounced back from a 4-0 deficit against Virginia to come within a run of tying, losing 4-3 in pool play.

“They are a very resilient team. They have jelled well together,” he said.

The semifinal games will be broadcast live Wednesday on ESPN2 with Florida taking on Tennessee at 2 p.m. and Virginia meeting South Carolina at 6 p.m. at Little League Southeast Park.

The championship game is at 7 p.m. on Friday and will be televised by ESPN.


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