18-Under tournament begins today

A pair of local teams and a number of area players are getting ready to participate in the World Wood Bat 18-Under National Championship, starting today.

The MGBA (Marquis Grissom Baseball Association) and the South Metro Bandits, two teams based out of Conyers, will have full schedules of pool play, while other players are spread out among four other teams.

The two teams do have one local player each as Newton's Kenny Glover plays for MGBA, which opens pool play with the East Cobb Bluejays at 11:30 a.m. at Southern Polytechnic State University, and the Bandits, who open with the D-BAT Mustangs Oklahoma at 4:30 p.m. at the East Cobb Complex, includes Covington native Xavier Floyd, who recently graduated from Columbia High School.

The Loganville travel program Team Elite has six teams in the tournament and some Rockdale and Newton County flavor to three of the teams. Team Elite Grey, which opens with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. at Chattaoochee High School, includes Salem's Cole Gibson, Will Hardy of Rockdale and Daniel Croom and Hank Steele of Newton. Eastside's Daniel Garrett, who went 8-3 for the Eagles as a senior last season, plays for Team Elite Chain, which plays Diamond Nine Fierce at 9 a.m. at North Cobb Christian School.

Georgia Select 18-Under, another team based out of Loganville, will include Eastside's Drew Buckhault, who is coming off a junior season in which he hit .481 with a .571 on-base percentage, and Rockdale's Malachi Eskin, a .360 hitter a year ago as a junior. Georgia Select opens pool play with a game against Chandler Baseball 17-under Prospects at 2 p.m. at Alpharetta High School.

Pool play will run through July 3 with each team playing seven games. The pool winners will advance to the playoffs, which begin July 3, and the semifinals and championship game are scheduled for July 5.