The Jim Hill Wood Bat Invitational is scheduled to swing into action today at Taylor Field and Eddie Bryan Field at Seabrook Family Christian Center with 11 teams from across central and southern Arkansas.

The Jim Hill Wood Bat Invitational is scheduled to swing into action today at Taylor Field and Eddie Bryan Field at Seabrook Family Christian Center with 11 teams from across central and southern Arkansas.

The tournament’s namesake was busy, as usual, preparing Taylor Field for the upcoming event, in its third year as a wooden bat event.

“This was just an invitational tournament to start with,” Hill said Wednesday afternoon. “They went with the wooden bats a few years ago and it makes things very interesting. The kids will enjoy playing in this tournament. I just hope the weather holds out.”

With rain in the forecast for the upcoming days, Hill may have a few extra duties preparing and keeping the field ready for competition. But it’s nothing he hasn’t faced in the past.

“I’ve been around here for 50 years or so, taking care of Taylor Field,” Hill said. “You have to make it happen. It doesn’t just happen. I am out here every day picking up trash or whatever needs to be done, whether there is a game or not. There are so many places, even here in Pine Bluff, that are not kept up. It takes hard work. And a little hard work never hurt anybody, I don’t guess.”

While Hill is tending to Taylor’s two-game schedule for today and Friday and four-game set on Saturday, Willy Smith will be doing the same at Eddie Bryan.

“I am helping take care of the field out here,” Smith said. “I have been involved out here since my kids were in school and just keep finding ways to help.”

Smith honed his abilities to keep the diamond from being rough from none other than Hill.

“If you didn’t have a dad, that’s who you would want it to be,” Smith said of Hill. “He taught me what I know about taking care of a field. He wouldn’t even let you on his field unless you knew what you were doing. He has to know you. He does everything right. And he does it for the kids.”

The duo prepare for today’s twin bill as the Seabrook PALS play the PBNB 16-year-olds at Eddie Bryan and Seabrook Wingstop takes on Seabrook Subway in the tournament openers at 6 p.m. The PALS will then play the Pine Bluff Angels at 8 p.m. at Eddie Bryan while Wingstop will entertain Seabrook PBNB in the late game at Taylor.

Friday’s action will begin at both fields at 6 p.m. while Saturday will begin at 10 a.m. at Eddie Bryan with six total games on tap. There will be four games at Taylor beginning at 10 a.m.

The tournament is pool play format with seven teams in Pool A — Camden, Hamburg, Lonoke, Nashville, Seabrook PBNB, Seabrook Subway and Seabrook Wingstop — and four in Pool B — Camden 16s, Pine Bluff Angels, Seabrook PALS and Seabrook PBNB 16s.

Teams are comprised primarily of high school athletes with a few college players thrown in the mix.

Four teams will play at 1 p.m. Sunday, one game at Taylor and one at Bryan, with the championship game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Bryan.