Wood bat 17-under tournament opens today

More than a dozen local players appearing on eight different teams will participate in the World Wood Bat 17-Under National Championship baseball tournament, beginning today.

The East Cobb Patriots 17-Under Blue team, an Atlanta travel team that opens the tournament against Demarini Stars 17-Under Black at 9 a.m. at Cass High School, includes a quartet of local players. Salem's Jordan Scott, who hit .362 and was named to the Region 8-AAAAA second team this past spring, Rockdale's Jake Stowers, and the Heritage duo of Chris Simonds and Rocky Mauriello play for the team.

A pair of Loganville-based teams will compete in the tournament with four area players. Team Elite 17-Under Black includes Daniel Croom of Newton, Cole Gibson of Salem and Rockdale's Will Hardy and will open the tournament against the Virginia Cardinals at 2 p.m. at Marietta High School. Hank Steele of Eastside will play for Team Elite 17-Under Louisville Slugger, which plays OTC Baseball at 9 a.m. at Marietta.

Team Georgia Baseball Academy, based out of Marietta, will field two teams with a total of three local players. The TGBA 17-under team, which has Heritage coach Jason Borcherding on its coaching staff, matches up with Pony Express Baseball at 2 p.m. at Southern Polytechnic State University, includes Heritage's Tyler Holcombe and Allen Bowen Jr. of Newton.

The TGBA 16-Under team, which includes Covington native and Piedmont Academy rising junior Zach Boggs, will play a doubleheader today beginning with a 2 p.m. game against West End Baseball at Pinecrest Academy.

The Big Stix Gamers 17-under (McDonough) and Heritage's Jalen Jackson will open up the tournament with a doubleheader today beginning with an 11:30 a.m. contest with NBS 17-Under at Kennesaw Mountain High School.

The Kennesaw-based Atlanta Bluejays 16-Under team and Nickolaus Broadwater of Eastside also begin pool play with a doubleheader, starting with an 11:30 a.m. tilt against South Oakland A's 17-Under Robinson at Druid Hill Middle School.

The 643 DP Cougars 17-Under team includes Covington native and Westminster School rising senior Conrad Cornell. The Marietta-based Cougars begin pool play at 9 a.m. against East Cobb Dirtbags 17-Under at Aviation Sports Complex.

Pool play will run through July 10 with each team playing seven games. The pool winners will advance to the playoffs, which begin July 10, and the semifinals and championship game are scheduled for July 12.