Preview: Connie Mack World Series Qualifier
TROY - Twenty baseball teams – including squads from up and down the eastern half of the United States - have entered, but only one will leave the Collar City with an automatic berth to the Connie Mack World Series.
Beginning at 9 a.m. today, the South Troy Dodgers organization will yet again play host to an American Amateur Baseball Congress World Series qualifier, with four fields around the Capital Region serving as pool play sites. After three days of pool play, a double elimination tournament begins with the remaining six teams. The last team standing clinches an automatic berth into the Connie Mack World Series, to be played August 6-13 in Farmington, N.M.
The South Troy Dodgers’ 18-and-under team hosts a pool at Geer Field in Troy, while the Dodgers’ 17-and-under unit will entertain four other teams on The College of Saint Rose’s Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany. The South Colonie Raiders will play at South Colonie High School and the Clifton Park Yankees will compete at Clifton Common.
Some of the area’s best young baseball players will battle for the local teams, but this tournament routinely draws future professional-quality talent as well.
The Florida Legends, three-time defending champions, had 14 players selected in the 2010 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. Some of those players have signed contracts and are currently playing minor league baseball, although shortstop Manny Machado, picked third overall by the Baltimore Orioles, is still unsigned and has committed to Florida International University.
Two years ago, Ryan Westmoreland, a fifth round draft pick by the Boston Red Sox in the 2008 draft, stunned the South Troy Dodgers 17-and-under squad as a member of the Bayside Yankees, hitting three home runs in a game at Bleecker Stadium in Albany. He later became a New York-Penn League All-Star for the Red Sox affiliate in Lowell and played short season Class A games at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, a hop, skip and a jump from Geer Field.
Other contenders this year include the Cincy Flames, from Cincinnati, Ohio, which had three current players selected in the 2010 draft.
The Frozen Ropes Titans, from McKinney, Texas, had the longest trip to Troy. According to team coaches at Wednesday’s registration meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn, after playing a doubleheader Tuesday, the team headed to the Dallas airport at 4:30 a.m. and endured layovers in New Orleans and Tampa before arriving in Albany.
The rest of the field is filled out with teams from the New York City metro area, New Jersey, Connecticut and Michigan.
Dave Roseboom, a graduate of La Salle Institute, was the only local player in the tournament who was selected in the Major League Draft. South Troy’s hard-throwing lefthander was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the 1,433 pick in the 47th round.
South Colonie features a young team led by pitchers Chris Kalica and Chris Kearney – rising seniors both at Colonie High School. An experienced team in years past, Ed Kelly’s squad is youthful, but hopeful they can compete.
This week’s tournament is one of two open qualifiers in the nation, as the western version was played in Phoenix in late June. The Dodgers will also host the North Atlantic Regional in Troy July 22 to 25. The winner of that tournament, which is reserved for area champions from the northeast, also secures a berth in the Connie Mack World Series.
Admission is free to all games played this week.
I've tried to find websites for all the teams involved. For more information, click on the team names to be redirected to their official sites.
1. World Yacht Clippers
2. South Troy Dodgers 17s
3. Florida Legends (Click to see team's website - 14 players selected in 2010 MLB draft)
4. Northeast Mudhens
5. Kalamazoo Maroons
Pool B (@ Geer Field, Troy, N.Y.)
1. Team N.Y. Nationals
2. Devilcats Baseball (East Greenbush)
3. Cincy Flames
4. Hudson Valley Renegades (Any help here?)
5. South Troy Dodgers
Pool C (@ Clifton Common, Clifton Park, N.Y.)
1. Richmond County
2. Upstate Vipers (Any help here?)
3. Clifton Park Yankees
4. Connecticut Bombers
5. Frozen Ropes Titans
Pool D (@ South Colonie High School, Colonie, N.Y.)
1. College Select
2. Team N.Y. Scout
3. Jack Cust Diamondjacks
4. Long Island Tigers
5. South Colonie Raiders (Any help here?)
9 a.m.: Team 3 vs. Team 4
Noon: Team 1 vs. Team 2
3 p.m.: Team 1 vs. Team 4
6 p.m.: Team 5 vs. Team 2
9 a.m.: Team 3 vs. Team 5
Noon: Team 2 vs. Team 4
3 p.m.: Team 1 vs. Team 3
6 p.m.: Team 5 vs. Team 4
9 a.m.: Team 1 vs. Team 5
Noon: Team 2 vs. Team 3
3 p.m.: seeding meeting
6 p.m.: Double elimination round starts.
Pool winners plus two wild cards will advance to double elimination tournament, which will begin at three sites at 6pm Saturday.
We also received the Upper New York State Sandy Koufax 14-and-under tournament schedule. Games begin Thursday at 9 a.m. at Chapko-Lewis Stadium in Valley Falls.
Upper NYS Sandy Koufax 14U Tournament
At Chapko-Lewis Stadium Valley Falls
Lansingburgh Royals (15-11) vs. Clifton Park Yankees (16-4), 9 a.m.
Troy Renegades (9-3) vs. South Colonie Raiders (9-7), 11:30 a.m.
Saratoga Stampede (16-6) vs. South Troy Dodgers (28-8), 11:30 a.m.
Hoosic Valley Rangers (5-10) vs. Bethlehem Eagles (16-3), 2 p.m.
Bethlehem Braves (8-4) vs. Utica Black Sox (12-3), 2 p.m.
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