Mak­ing a clas­sic

Base­ball CBN hopes an­nual tour­na­ment is a hit

The Compass - - BASEBALL - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER TC ME­DIA HEALTH nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

With any luck the Base­ball CBN Bull­dogs Clas­sic will soon es­tab­lish it­self as one of the premier tour­na­ments in the prov­ince.

Gen­er­ally held at the be­gin­ning of the base­ball sea­son, the tour­na­ment starts its sec­ond run­ning later this week.

“Ev­ery year, we got to the west coast for the Mary Tavenor Me­mo­rial tour­na­ment,” said CBN pres­i­dent Neil Shute. “We’d like teams to think of our tour­na­ment like they do that one.”

If the num­ber of teams who plan on at­tend­ing is any in­di­ca­tion, Base­ball CBN is well on its way to reach­ing their goal.

From June 30-July 3, 25 teams in three di­vi­sions from across the prov­ince will de­scend on ball­fields in Spa­niard’s Bay, Up­per Is­land Cove and Har­bour Grace for the clas­sic.

The num­ber of teams reg­is­tered is up from last year, which came in at 23 squads.

There are nine ban­tam teams, eight pee­wee and eight mos­quito teams head­ing this way. The ban­tam tour­ney is sched­uled to be played in Habrour Grace, while Is­land Cove hosts pee­wee and Spa­niard’s Bay wel- comes the mos­quito games.

“The spots filled quickly,” said Shute.

“We had some good re­sponse. Within a few days, we had emails from teams say­ing they were com­ing. We had all of the spots filled in a week.”

The clas­sic is primed to be one of the bet­ter kick-off tour­na­ments on this side of the prov­ince. Many of the top teams are sched­uled to make the trek into Con­cep­tion Bay North for some high qual­ity ball.

It’ll be a good chance for coaches and play­ers to gauge where they are and get a clear vi­sion of where they need to go as the sum­mer sched­ule heats up head­ing fur­ther into July.

Hop­ing for good weather

Base­ball is a sport that needs good weather to be a hit. You can play in some driz­zle or soggy con­di­tions, but any heavy rain or pud­dled fields is sure to cause or­ga­niz­ers trou­ble.

That has Shute and the rest of or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee check­ing fore­casts and cross­ing fin­gers.

“We’re hop­ing we get some de­cent weather,” he said. “We know we can’t con­trol that.”

Last year’s tour­na­ment was hin­dered by some rain on the open­ing night.

That forced teams to ad­just their sched­ule, but it didn’t lengthen the tour­na­ment for any ex­tended pe­riod of time.

If it’s any con­so­la­tion, The Weather Net­work has the re­gion ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tem­per­a­tures in the high teens with a mix of sun and cloud.

There’s been plenty of hype around the ball­field in Is­land Cove, with its lights erected and fully op­er­a­tional.

Shute said that while each divi­sion is play­ing at a dif­fer­ent field, the sched­ule is giv­ing each home team the chance to get one game in un­der the lights.

That starts with the mos­quito group on Thurs­day night.

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Base­ball CBN Bull­dogs’ player Dy­lan Whe­lan de­liv­ers a pitch to the plate dur­ing last year’s Bull­dog Clas­sic.

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