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PG/EvoShield invades the desert

Tournaments : : Story
Jeff Dahn        
Published: Thursday, September 22, 2011

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Perfect Game and EvoShield have brought a pretty big show to the desert southwest and the Pacific Time Zone.

The second annual Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championship – a two- tournament (Upperclass and Underclass) event – kicks off early Friday morning at spectacular Major League Baseball spring training facilities spread across the greater Phoenix area, commonly known as the Valley.

The Upperclass and Underclass tournaments begin Friday and conclude with championship games late Monday morning.

The first games in the PG/EvoShield National Championship (Upperclass) will begin at 8 a.m. (PT) at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz. – the sparkling new spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies – and at 8:00 a.m. at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix, the spring home of the Chicago White Sox. Games in this tournament will also be played at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Ariz., where the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners train.

The semifinal and championship games will be played Monday morning at Salt River Flats.

Most of the clubs in the 52-team Upperclass field are from Arizona and California, but in all, there are teams representing 12 states – including Maryland, Georgia, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri – and one from Ontario, Canada, making it a truly national – and even international – event.

The EDH Vipers from Eldorado Hills, Calif., won last year’s inaugural tournament and returns this year. Other teams in the field include nationally ranked ABD Bulldogs from San Bernardino, Calif., CCB (San Jose), San Diego Show and SGV Arsenal (West Covina, Calif.). There are also entrants from nationally acclaimed organizations such as NorCal Baseball, Houston Heat and So Cal Baseball.

Hundreds of the nation’s top prospects from the class of 2012 will be in attendance, including at least two who played in the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic last month in San Diego. Tanner Rahier, a shortstop/right-hander from Indian Wells, Calif., who has committed to the University of San Diego is on the ABD Bulldogs roster, and Trey Williams, a third baseman/shortstop from Saugus, Calif., who has committed to Pepperdine is on the San Diego Show roster.

While this is only the second PG/EvoShield National Championship (Upperclass), the tournament had previous incarnations as the PG National Championship (Upperclass), WWBA PG National Invitational, PG National Invitational and WWBA National Invitational.

More than 200 alumni of those events have been drafted, including more than 20 first round or first round compensation picks, just since 2007. First-rounders Travis Harrison, Brandon Martin, Trevor Story, Peter Tago and Taijuan Walker all played in the 2009 PG National Championship (Upperclass).

This year’s Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championship (Underclass) has a field of 32 teams from 10 states and one from Ontario. All of the games will be played at the Peoria Sports Complex, with the first games beginning at noon Friday, and the semifinal and championship games slated for Monday morning.

This is the event’s third year of existence. In 2009 it was known as the PG National Championship (Underclass). The ABD Bulldogs are the defending Underclass champion.

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