By Jeff Toquinto July 07, 2015
Another weekend, another pretty substantial baseball tournament coming to Bridgeport in just a few days. Starting Friday and running through Sunday the city will play host to the first-ever "Showdown in the Mountains" that will not only feature four age groups, but will include 36 teams from six states.
"This is our first tournament," said Robert Marra, tournament director. "We've had the Bracket Bash several times as part of Patriot Baseball, but this is the first one we're doing with this group. The Bracket Bash kind of led us into this one because the tournaments at the (Bridgeport) Recreation Complex have been so successful."
West Virginia Patriot Baseball is involved in the tournament, but is doing it in conjunction with Bridgeport Senior Baseball – the American Legion circuit many know it as and Bridgeport Post 68 – and will serve as a fundraiser. The event with be at the Rec Complex, Bridgeport High School and there will even be a handful of games on the Bridgeport Little League field directly beside the BHS complex.
The inaugural travel tournament will be broken down into four age groups. The groups are 10U, 12U, 16U and 18U.
For baseball junkies or fans of individual players, it comes with the right price tag. For just $3, individuals can take in every game each day of the event. Children under the age of 12 are admitted for free.
To keep up to date with scores and games, visit www.wvpatriotbaseball.com for all the information. Click for the direct link to the schedules.
"We think this tournament will be great for the area and the Recreation Complex has just been phenomenal. It's given baseball a resurgence in an area where baseball really hasn't been down by any means. We've just got a lot more kids involved because we have these great facilities at our disposal," said Marra. "The nice thing is to hear people tell you that you've got a beautiful facility and then they tell you they have nothing like it where they're from. It's not only making a positive impact of what people think of the community, it's making a positive impact on the community's economy."
The slate for the tournament includes Friday games beginning at 4 p.m., Saturday games beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing all day, and Sunday games starting at 8 a.m. and playing toward the title games in each division. Each team will play two games, based on results, then be seeded for a single elimination format ending with the champions. Marra said the tournament is a non-sanctioned event.
There is one other thing that is unique about this event. Marra said a college recruitment showcase for tournament participants is scheduled Friday afternoon at the BHS Field.
"We decided since we have a 16 under and 18 under bracket to try to do a showcase event, which is something you see at a lot of travel tournaments," said Marra. "What we're going to do is to have players work out for the coaches. In some tournaments that do this, they play games. We've decided to just do the workouts."
What's even more unique is the cost. Marra said the workout in front of the coaches is free.
"We decided not to do that and this is the first one in a number of years in our area," said Marra. "We've got a lot of youngsters that are taking part; more than 55 to date and they're still coming in."
As part of the program, players will be:
- All players will be timed in the 60 yard dash.
- Outfielders will take fly balls and make throws to third base and home plate.
- Infielders will take ground balls at shortstop and make throws to first base.
- First basemen will take ground balls and throw to third base.
- Catchers will be timed for pop times.
- Pitchers will be gunned for speed.
- All players will then participate in a short batting practice.