Tournaments : : Story
Friday, May 25, 2012

WWBA 16U/18U Memorial Day East

Kira Olsen        

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (May 23, 2012) – Perfect Game will kick off its summer tournament schedule in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday, May 25th. One hundred and fifty of the region’s top travel baseball teams will gather to compete in the Fourth Annual 16U and 18U WWBA Memorial Day Classics. The bulk of the teams competing in the tournament will be from the state of Florida, with a few teams will be traveling in from neighboring states. The tournament will span four days and consist of more than 300 games.

The tournaments are a great opportunity for kids to be seen by colleges and major league scouts. It also gives the colleges and scouts a great opportunity to see some of the area’s top talent in one place,” Perfect Game’s National BCS Tournament Director, Ben Ford, said of the game.

To date, major league teams have drafted sixty-three (including five 1
st round picks) alumni of the 18U tournament and over six hundred alumni have committed to play baseball at the college level.

North Fort Myers native Daniel Vogelbach of Bishop Verot High School attended multiple Perfect Game events, including the 2009 and 2010 Memorial Day Classics, before being drafted in 2011 by the Chicago Cubs.

The state of Florida has been well represented in past Memorial Day Classics. The Tampa Bay Warriors were last year’s 18U tournament champions. The Carrolwood Gators won the 16U tournament.

Last year’s 18u Championship game featured several top prospects including a top pitching matchup between Lance McCullers and Walker Weickel. McCullers, the No. 1 ranked 2012 in the state of FL set a tournament record with a 96 mph fastball in the game. He and his Tampa Bay Warriors beat Weickel, the No. 2 ranked 2012 in FL, and the Orlando Scorpions to take home the title.

This year eighty teams have registered for the 18U tournament. Teams to watch include FTB of Kissimmee, Fla., Cannons Baseball of Cape Coral, Fla., the Upstate Mavericks of Lyman, S.C., the Dirtbags of Sedalia, N.C., the Orlando Scorpions of Altamonte Springs, Fla., and Chet Lemon’s Juice of Mt. Dora, Fla.

This year several top prospects are scheduled to play, including Avery Romero of St. Augustine, Fla. Romero has been ranked 42 overall for the draft class of 2012. Romero will be playing for the Tampa Bay Warriors.

FTB teams have several top prospects on their rosters this year. Shortstop Oscar Mercado, ranked 1st
 in the state of Florida and 3rd nationally for the draft class of 2013, will be playing for FTB Pride. Mercado has committed to play at Florida State.

Kyle Marsh will be playing for FTB Chandler 17U. Marsh is the 4
th ranked player in the state of Florida for the class of 2014 and is ranked 12th nationally. He has committed to the UCF.

The Orlando Scorpions 17U Purple’s roster has several players to watch. John Sternagel is ranked 3
rd in the state of Florida and 20th nationally for the class of 2013. He has committed to play at UCF. Carson Sands and Tate Blackman are both highly ranked in the class of 2014. Sands is ranked 5th in the state and 14th overall. Blackman is ranked 9th in the state and 31st nationally.

The 16U tourney will feature the Florida Flash (coached by former major league pitcher Tom “Flash” Gordon). Other teams to watch in the 16U tournament include Chet Lemon’s Juice of Mt. Dora, Fla., FTB of Kissimmee, Fla., the Orlando Scorpions from Altamonte Springs, Fla., Upstate Mavericks from Lyman, S.C. and the Florida Burn from Sarasota, Fla .

Nicholas Gordon will be playing for his father on the Florida Flash. Gordon is the top ranked player in the state of Florida for the class of 2014 and is ranked 14
th nationally. The Florida Flash will also feature Tyrone Perry. Perry is ranked 31st in the state.

Dalton Guthie will be playing for the Florida Burn Orange. Guthrie’s father, former major league pitcher Mark Guthrie will be coaching the team. Guthrie is ranked 12
th in Florida and has already committed to the University of Florida.

The Orlando Baseball Academy 2014 will be playing Florida’s 13
th ranked player in the class of 2013, Christian Arroyo. He has committed to play at Florida.

Games will be held at various sites around southwestern Florida. The 5-plex (former Red Sox spring training facility), the Charlotte County Complex (Rays), the Lee County Complex (Twins), Cape Coral Complex, Terry Park Ballfield, and several area high schools.

The 16U quarter-and semifinals will be hosted at the 5-plex. The 18U quarter- and semifinals will take place at JetBlue Park, the new Red Sox Spring Training facility. JetBlue Park will host both championship games on Monday, May 28
th. The 16U championship game will take place at 4:30 PM and the 18U championship game will begin at 2:00 PM.

For more information about the two tournaments, click here for the 16U and here for the 18U.

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