The Boys & Girls Club of Venice’s RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) junior division team is headed to the league World Series in Minnesota after capturing the west region title.

The Venice RBI team won the regional championship by defeating Hawaii Hilo RBI 12-2 last month at West Los Angeles College in Culver City.

The team comprised of 14- and 15-year-olds will now go on to face other regions of the United States and back-to-back defending junior division champions from the Dominican Republic in the World Series.

“We have an outstanding group of committed baseball players,” said team manager Erikk Aldridge, who also serves as the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. “They play hard and love the game.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Venice RBI program was started in 2008 and is designed to help youths interested in baseball develop a healthy lifestyle through sports. The program is focused on providing a quality, first tier baseball experience for youth coming from low to moderate income families.

The Minnesota Twins will host the 2012 RBI World Series, the national baseball and softball tournament and annual culmination of the RBI program. The 20th anniversary of the tournament will be held from July 31 to Aug. 12 at various locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, with the baseball championship games being played at Target Field, the home of the Twins.

Twenty-four teams will compete in the RBI World Series and will be divided into three divisions: junior baseball (13-15 year olds); senior baseball (16-18 year olds); and softball (19 and under).

Winners from each division in the RBI regionals from eight designated areas around the country (Central, East, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and West) as well as the Caribbean, have earned berths to participate in the championship tournaments. ¤

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