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Intimidation no longer a factor

(ran PW, PS editions)

The last time Matt Eden and his teammates made it this far, he remembers the other team was big.

Really, really, really big.

So huge was Sarasota that the West Pasco 9-10 baseball team didn't stand a chance and lost 10-1.

After winning another district championship, this year with the West Pasco majors, that same team is awaiting the arrival of Eden and Co.

This time, though, he doesn't think he or his teammates will be quite as intimidated.

"I think that it being there once already helps us," said Eden, an infielder. "We know what the other teams are like now, and we know the people. I think we're going to do good."

Along with Greater Holiday's 9-10 team and West Pasco's junior softball team, the West Pasco majors will begin sectional play this weekend in double-elimination tournaments across Florida.

District 12's big league baseball team, which features New Port Richey's Billy Phillips and Johnny Wirick and which recently won its sectional, plays for the state championship starting Saturday.

This weekend's games include:

In the tournament that eventually could lead to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., and ESPN coverage, the West Pasco majors will open with Seminole on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Cross Bayou Little League in Largo.

The Holiday 9-10 team plays Sunday at 1 p.m. at Countryside against the winner of a matchup between the Districts 9 and 18 champs, who play Saturday.

The West Pasco junior softball team plays Pinellas Park National on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Cross Bayou.

The District 12 big league team, or Section 4 champs, plays the Section 1 champ at 3 p.m. at Western Area Little League Regional Park at Weston in Fort Lauderdale.