WOODSTOCK - Sure, for Jason Borcherding and Team Georgia, summer tournament season is about winning baseball games, and hopefully tournament titles. But much more is at stake over the next days and weeks as the futures of hundreds of players will be determined.
Team Georgia Blue, which is based out of Marietta and is coached by Borcherding, who just completed his third season as the head coach at Heritage High School, plays seven pool games over the next six days in the World Wood Bat 18-under National Championship, including Friday morning’s 12-3 win in five innings over Denny Pritchett Jayhawks at Etowah High School.
Borcherding, along with the coaches of 146 other teams participating in the 18-under tournament, is also planning to get as many players as much exposure from scouts as possible, which he then hopes will lead to a promising future at the collegiate or professional levels (Mercer University was in attendance at Etowah on Friday). The national championship tournaments also use only wooden bats to help players get the feel for the type of lumber they’d be using all through the professional ranks.
“Ultimately, the Perfect Game tournaments give kids the opportunity to play in the biggest tournament of the year for their individual age groups,” said Borcherding. “Perfect Game does a great job with their events and is recognized as very credible in their scouting (and) there are hundreds of college coaches and professional scouts that attend these events.”
Borcherding’s squad already has several players committed to Division 1 schools, including infielder and Lambert High School graduate Trey Logan (University of Georgia); Blessed Trinity rising senior Jack Dunn, an infielder and pitcher committed to Northwestern; and Furman commitment Jonathan Mouw, a rising senior and right-handed pitcher at Creekview High School. Ridgeland, Miss., native and rising senior Noah Hughes, a pitcher and third baseman who started and took a no-decision in Friday’s win, is committed to Mississippi State.
Tyler Holcombe, Borcherding’s former player at Heritage who is headed to Georgia Perimeter College in the fall, is also a member of the team.
“(The Perfect Game tournaments provide) a platform for kids to be seen in a high-exposure environment,” said Borcherding who said Team Georgia had 12 players sign with colleges last season and he expects at least that many to sign this summer. “We work hard at developing them throughout the year and we have been very fortunate to have good players in our program that we have been able to help get into school. These tournaments host the best teams in the country (and) these next two weeks will determine some of these kids futures.”
Team Georgia will continue pool play today against CageRat Baseball Blue at 11:30 a.m. at Cherokee High School.