The matchup is set for the memorable Little League Challenger Division® Exhibition Game as teams from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Syracuse, New York, have earned the trip to compete during the 2023 Little League Baseball® World Series in August.
“Playing in the Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game at the World Series is one of the most exciting opportunities available for our local leagues and we are proud to give this opportunity to these two well-deserving programs this summer,” said Sam Ranck, Little League Senior Director of League Development and the Challenger Division. “We are so grateful for the work that the volunteers in these two communities have done for their players, and we look forward to welcoming to Williamsport in August.”
The Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game has been a part of the Little League Baseball World Series schedule since 2001 and has become a fan favorite as part of the Championship Weekend experience. Little League® International supports the participating leagues with a $15,000 grant to help offset the costs for the teams to participate in the Exhibition Game.
Meet the teams playing in the 2023 Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game, both of which have been affiliated with the Little League program since the Challenger Division was first established in 1989:
Challenger of Lancaster County (Pa.) Little League
Over the course of the past three decades, Challenger of Lancaster County Little League has developed its program to now operate 12 teams and approximately 175 players each season. In 2016, the league increased its offerings by adding a Senior Challenger Division for individuals over the age of 15, which now provides opportunities for four teams.
“We are excited to be selected to participate in the annual Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game at the World Series in Williamsport this August,” said Mike Tafelski, Challenger of Lancaster County Little League Manager. “This selection, which marks the first time a team from Lancaster County will be represented in Williamsport, is a tribute to all the players and volunteers who have participated in our program over the past three decades. An honor bestowed to only two Challenger Division teams each season, we are very excited to have been selected for this honor.”
New York District 8 Little League Challenger Division (Syracuse, N.Y.)
New York District 8 Little League Challenger Division, more commonly referred to as Syracuse Challenger Baseball, has helped provide children with physical and intellectual challenges the opportunity to play the game of baseball across the Syracuse community for more than three decades. Operating today with 16 teams and approximately 250 players, the league has since grown into one of the largest single-district Challenger programs in the United States. Playing its games at the Carrier Park Field of Dreams, a multi-million-dollar inclusive sports complex in Dewitt, New York, the league has had tremendous support over the years from the nearby Syracuse Spartans, Syracuse Mets, and the entire Syracuse community.
“Syracuse Challenger Baseball is ready to charge into Williamsport by storm and showcase the immeasurable talents, enthusiasm, and passion that our players, families, coaches, and volunteers have for the great game of Little League Baseball,” said Dom Cambareri, Syracuse Challenger Baseball Executive Director. “We are looking forward to spreading good cheer and camaraderie with our fellow Challenger players from Lancaster, as well as playing at the same legendary World Series event in the presence of the best Little League players and teams in the world.”
The 2023 Little League Baseball World Series is set to take place on August 16-27. The official schedule for the tournament will be announced in March and first-round pairings will be randomly drawn in June, all of which will be made available at LittleLeague.org/WorldSeries. To learn more and to plan your trip to Williamsport, be sure to check out LittleLeague.org/Visit.