SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Mike Cavasinni is a North Carolinian and former NCAA Division I baseball player who looks right at home at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick baseball complex.
Cavasinni is at Salt River Fields this weekend in the company of hundreds of baseball families, college recruiters and professional scouts here for the 2011 Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championship (Upperclass).
There are other Upperclass tournament games being played at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix, and the 2011 PG/EvoShield National Championship (Underclass) is being played about an hour away at the Peoria (Ariz.) Sports Complex.
The two PG/EvoShield tournaments showcase the talents of hundreds of the nation’s top prospects, a fact not lost on Cavasinni. He is, you see, the Director of Baseball Sales for EvoShield, the innovative company that manufactures protective athletic gear and has partnered with Perfect Game to make the two national championships a reality.
“This is one of our best opportunities to get in front of people,” Cavasinni said Saturday morning. “The opportunity to come here and set up a tent is really important to us.”
Cavasinni was sitting behind a display table – and under a small tent – that held EvoShield caps, batting gloves and protective arm and leg wear, all in a variety of bright colors.
“Coming out here and really getting to interact with these kids and getting to talk to them one-on-one, and letting them try on our new batting gloves and seeing what they think, that’s going to all come back to us and it’s going to help us 10-fold,” Cavasinni said. “These are the kids who are going to continue supporting us. They’re the ones who will go onto college and get drafted and go into minor league and major league baseball.
“If we can continue protecting them and keeping them on the field, then we’re going to have life-long people who are always going to support EvoShield.”
These are the second annual PG/EvoShield National Championships and EvoShield has been a presence at every Perfect Game tournament and showcase for the last couple of years. It enjoyed a very high profile at the prestigious and nationally televised Perfect Game All-American Classic showcase and was the presenting sponsor of the EvoShield SWAG Award at the Classic.
For his part, Cavasinni was a four-year starter at North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, N.C., and went on to play at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill from 2006-10. He was a member of three College World Series teams while at UNC.
While in high school, Cavasinni played in three Perfect Game WWBA tournaments as a member of the On Deck O’s travel ball squad.
“You play in so many tournaments as a high school player, but the ones you always look forward to are all the Perfect Game World Wood Bat championships,” Cavasinni recalled. “That’s because you know you’re going to play the best teams from across the nation and you’re going get the most exposure, whether it’s college (coaches) or pro scouts.”
It was due to his personal involvement with Perfect Game as a high school player that Cavasinni sensed EvoShield and PG could form a sound business relationship.
“As for myself, I grew up playing at Perfect Game tournaments and they’re the best known baseball tournaments around this entire country if you want to be seen,” he said. For us (at EvoShield) this was the perfect involvement,” Cavasinni said. “This is our target market that we love – the high school baseball player, the elite baseball player that we really look toward targeting.
“It was a no-brainer to team up with Perfect Game,” he continued. “The staff has been great and the exposure here just goes full circle in terms of what we get back from (Perfect Game).”
The 2011 Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championships conclude Monday with championship games at Salt River Fields and the Peoria Sports Complex. All indications through Sunday morning are that the two events will be unqualified successes. Perfect Game and EvoShield should continue to work together for years to come.
“I don’t see us ever going away from this (business) relationship,” Cavasinni said. “We always want to stay the kind of company where we’re out here doing this personally. We’ll always bring out two or three corporate people to come work these events because we want to be out here talking with the people.”