Baseball is coming to Crozet in a big way this summer. More than 1,000 people (including teams, families, and fans) are expected to descend upon Claudius Crozet Park from Thursday, July 9, through Sunday, July 12, for the Virginia state baseball tournament for 11-year-olds. Teams hailing from northern Virginia, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and other parts of the state will be vying for a spot in the Southeast Regional Tournament, where they’ll compete against state champions from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. This is the first state tournament Peachtree has hosted in recent history.
Peachtree’s 11U All-Star Team is made up of 12 boys who the coaches have determined to be the best 11-year-old-and-under players in the league. Matt Winkler is the team’s manager and Ed Quigley and Drew Holzwarth are the team’s coaches. Winkler believes that the top contenders in the state tournament will be Glen Allen, Williamsburg, and Peachtree.
Winkler is impressed with his team’s work ethic and camaraderie. “At the end of the day these are 11-year-olds who just love to go out and play hard and have fun with their friends,” he said. “There is a lot of talent in the state of Virginia, but what separates this group is their ability to stay composed under pressure, deal with adversity, and handle hot and humid conditions better than your average 11-year-old. They are experienced, as the bulk of this group has been together since they were seven years old. Most leagues start to lose their players to travel teams by that age and these boys have shown that they just want to go play hard alongside their buddies.”
The team has excelled at past tournaments. “This group has already shown they can go far as they represented Virginia in 2013 in the 9U Southeast Regional in Nashville. They went 5-1 in that tournament and finished in third place against the best from Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and the Bahamas,” Winkler said.
The state tournament games will generally be played between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are not needed to attend, and the league does not anticipate any parking problems at Crozet Park. Five games will be played on Thursday and Friday, four games will be played on Saturday, and two games will be played on Sunday.
For more detailed schedules and bracket information, go to: vababeruth.com/tournaments/brackets/2015/pdf/1170bb.pdf. Follow Peachtree Baseball on Facebook for the most up-to-date schedules, scores, and other information.