Capahas baseball team set to open National Baseball Congress World Series play

Monday, July 30, 2012
Capahas pitcher Colton Young looks into the dugout during a recent game at Capaha Field. (WAYNE McPHERSON ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian)

The Plaza Tire Capahas have not fared well during recent trips to the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan.

Longtime manager Jess Bolen's squad will try to turn that around today during the team's 31st consecutive appearance at the prestigious amateur baseball tournament.

The Capahas (25-7) begin play in the 78th annual 32-team, double-elimination event at 5 p.m. against the Topeka (Kan.) Golden Giants.

"We're looking forward to it," said Bolen, who has a 1,432-386 record in his 46th season directing one of the nation's oldest amateur baseball teams. "It's always a really good tournament with some really great talent."

The Capahas have experienced plenty of success in Wichita over the years but not recently. They are 1-6 in their last three NBC World Series appearances, including an 0-2 showing last summer.

"You never know what's going to happen from year to year," Bolen said. "I've had teams that I thought would really do well out there and didn't. I've had teams I didn't think would do well and won several games."

Bolen feels good about the pitcher he'll put on the mound today to face the champion of the Walter Johnson League in Kansas.

Left-hander Zack Smith, who pitches for Southeast Missouri State, has had a dominant season for the Capahas, including a 17-strikeout performance.

"Zack has really pitched well pretty much every time we've put him out there," Bolen said. "I think he'll give us a chance."

The Capahas will face either the El Dorado (Kan.) Broncos or the Katy (Texas) Collegians in their second NBC World Series game.

They'll play Thursday if they win today. They'll play Tuesday if they lose today. Times for those contests have not been determined.

The Santa Barbara (Calif.) Foresters are the defending champions. They defeated the Kenai (AK) Peninsula Oilers to win their third NBC World Series title last year.

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