Friday, August 4, 2017

Tournament Brings Travel Teams to Ballpark

Story by Katie Benoit
Photo by Kristen O'Grady 

SYRACUSE, N.Y.- Youth baseball players had a once-in-a-lifetime experience Thursday night at NBT Stadium. In addition to Syracuse Chief's win over the Louisville Bats, the travel teams in attendance got the chance to pretend they were in the minor leagues.

Players dressed in their uniforms, got to walk out onto the field in front of 6,000 fans.
12U South Jeff Blizzards watching the game 

“It was a really neat experience. I mean I’ve never been on a huge field before, so getting out there was really neat.” Josh Matteson, outfielder from Adams, N.Y on the 12U South Jeff Blizzards said.

Some lucky players even got the chance to talk with Chiefs players and get autographs after the parade.

The Akadema Summer Classic Tournament, run by Champions Events, includes 58 teams from all over New York and Canada.The games will take place at six different ball fields throughout Syracuse this weekend.

All the teams playing in the tournament were invited to attend the game and participate in the parade as an opening event.

The players enjoyed getting to watch some Triple A action with their teammates.

“I think it’s a really cool experience for our team,” second baseman, Evan Widrick from Adams, N.Y. on the 12U South Jeff Blizzards said.

The tournament includes players from the ages of 9 to 15. Each team gets to play four games during the weekend with a chance to play in the championship games on Sunday.

“We got great weather coming up and were going to have fun. Everyone’s excited to get it going. The is the fourth annual, so it’s growing every year,” Owner of Champions Events, Justin Arsenault said.

In addition to the exciting three-run walk-off home run, there were also fireworks after the game, making the night for these young players extra special.

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