Tournaments : : Story
Friday, September 10, 2010

32 Teams Set for Northeast Qualifier No.2

Jim Ecker        
A total of 32 teams from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Canada are heading to Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, N.Y, this weekend for the Northeast Qualifier No.2 tournament.

At stake is an automatic berth in the WWBA World Championship that will be held Oct. 21-25 at the Roger Dean Sports Complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Dan Kennedy, the tournament director for the Northeast Qualifier, thinks Perfect Game has assembled another strong field for the event.

"I think it's one of the better tournaments we have in the northeast," he said. "It's a fun event to be at."

The South Bergen Mets, who won the Northeast Qualifier No.1 at Baseball Heaven last month, are back for another shot at a title. but the Mets have already clinched their spot at the WWBA World Championship. The 31 other teams in this weekend's tournament hope to join them in Jupiter next month.

Kennedy thinks there are numerous teams that are capable of winning the Northeast Qualifier No.2, and he anticipates a good weekend with lots of good players. Jesse Biddle, a first-round pick by the Phillies this year, and Cito Culver, a first-round pick by the Yankees, both played in this tournament. So did Rick Porcello, who's currently pitching for the Detroit Tigers.

Kennedy said Porcello was throwing 91 mph fastballs when he was 16 years old, and he predicts there will be at least "5 to 7 stud pitchers" at Baseball Heaven again this weekend.

"I think it's going to be the same as past years," he said. "The same type of players."

Baseball Heaven features four regulation fields, astroturf and major league lighting, according to Kennedy. There will be pool games on Saturday and Sunday, with the playoffs on Monday.

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