The U18 Portage Phillies are preparing to host the region's provincial Tier 1 Baseball Provincials from July 12 to 14.

Brent Maryniuk was a coach with the Phillies before becoming Chairperson of the tournament and says they're happy to have the opportunity.

"We're very excited to be hosting this year. It's been a long time since Portage has hosted, and we thought, 'You know what? Our diamonds are in great condition, and Portage has always stepped up for these types of events.' We're really excited to take on hosting these other teams this year."

The tournament will see seven other teams come to the city to compete for the provincial championship, but Maryniuk notes, the Phillies have an opportunity to claim the title.

"The Phillies will have a really good chance this year. Two years ago, they lost in the semi-finals, and then last year, they lost a close game in the finals. We have a lot of returning players coming back this year. We have a really strong 2006-born group, which is the last year for them to play. That was one of the reasons we wanted to take on hosting, allow these young men to showcase their ball talents to local fans."

The tournament will see squads from across the province in regions such as Pembina Hills, Carillon and Interlake spend the weekend in Portage.

The first two games will kick off the tournament on Friday with first pitch around 4pm at Republic Park.