ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - A trip to the Babe Ruth World Series in the 14-Year-Old Division is on the line this week in Arroyo Grande.
On Monday, the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament began action with four games at Porter Field in the Soto Sports Complex
"We were given a great opportunity this year to host (the tournament)," said tournament chairman Matthew Scrudato. "We're bringing in teams from Hawaii, Utah, all over California, Nevada, Arizona, and having it here in our community is pretty big."
Over the next seven days, 18 (19 if needed) games will be played, including the championship game at Cal Poly's Baggett Stadium on Saturday.
Teams that have qualified made it here after winning their respective region.
"This region is from Guam to Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, all over California, Utah, so these are the top ten Babe Ruth 14-U teams in the Southwest United States," said Scrudato.
Among the teams that are taking part is host Five Cities, which recently captured the Central California State Championship.
Last year, the Five Cities 13-year-old Division team won the World Series in Arkansas.
With many of the same players on this team, the squad is looking to make a similar run to the World Series once again.
"This is a qualifier for the World Series, so whoever wins this, will represent this Pacific Southwest District in Demopolis, Alabama in a couple of weeks," said Scrudato.
Scrudato added preparations for the prestigious tournament have been ongoing for months and has received a ground-swelling of community support.
"It's been the Kiwanis," said Scrudato. "It's been the Moose Lodge, We have a lot of amazing sponsors. We've been doing banquets. The community has been supporting us and volunteers making tee-shirts and hats. It's been a large group of people really helping out. I can't tell you how amazing the community support has been."
Included in the support has been financial donations from local government officials.
"(San Luis Obispo District Four Supervisor) Lynn Compton helped us out with an amazing grant, over $7,000 actually to bring all these teams to the community, to improve our fields and give our boys an opportunity to play, as well as the City of Arroyo Grande, they helped with another grant, to help support this league," Scrudato said.
He added the tournament is expected to bring in at least 400 people to the Five Cities area over the next week.
"Families will be spending here, in Arroyo Grande, renting hotels, going to restaurants, so it's bringing in a lot of tourism," said Scrudato.
During time off between games and practice, families will have a chance to explore many parts of the Central Coast.
"I think some of the parents might be doing some wine tasting, maybe a little bit of shopping," said Dominique Jardin of South Reno, Nevada. "We plan on hitting the beach, doing some skimboarding, just having a good time, relaxing."
After just a couple of days in town, visitors are already giving the tournament a big thumbs up.
"I think it's a pretty cool city," said Pedro Oropeza of South Reno, Nevada. "I'm having a lot of fun here and I think it's an amazing experience to be here."
Five Cities is scheduled to play Utah South on Monday at 7 p.m.
The winner will play South Reno on Tuesday at 12 p.m.
The championship game is scheduled for Baggett Stadium on Saturday at 10 a.m. If needed, a second winner-take-all championship game would be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
For more information, visit the Five Cities Youth Baseball Facebook page.