Two weekends ago, Mother Nature wreaked havoc on what was supposed to be one of the biggest and best Elite Level summer baseball tournaments the St. Louis area would host this summer, with a series of rainstorms that made almost every ball field in the area unplayable for an entire weekend.
Diamond Sports Promotions had put together the event, featuring 10 top summer club teams playing in a tournament that would earn the winner a berth in the DSP World Series in Bloomington, IL at the end of July.
But Mother Nature interfered, dropping buckets and buckets of rain on St. Louis and St. Charles and washing away the whole tournament.
This weekend, however, DSP has put together what is quite possibly the biggest and best summer baseball tournament in all of the Midwest, with 24 teams and 50 total games to be played at numerous locations throughout St. Charles and St. Louis counties.
Diamond Sports Promotions’ St. Louis 18U Championships draws teams from all over the region, including nearly 20 teams representing all areas of St. Louis. The teams will descend on in St. Charles, , in Chesterfield, C&H Park in St. Peters, and Lindenwood University’s Lou Brock Sports Complex, for what’s sure to be some of the best summer baseball played in the area.
Several top-flight club baseball programs with national-level players are expected to appear this weekend, including Team Mizuno Midwest, the St. Louis Sting, the St. Louis Recruits 18U and 16U teams, and the Gamers Gray and Gamers Blue teams—all local teams—along with the Southern Illinois Bullets and BNBA Gold, two elite teams from southern and central Illinois.
Game action began on Thursday and will continue on Friday, with games at Blanchette, SCCC, and Parkway Central and Lindenwood.
Parkway Central and C&H will serve as the primary game locales on Saturday, with all locations (except SCCC) in use on Sunday.
The tournament semifinals and championship game will be played at Lindenwood on Sunday afternoon, with the first pitch for the final game scheduled for a 5:30 p.m.
Below is a quick look at some of the top teams, and when and where they’ll play at this weekend’s DSP St. Louis 18U Championships:
Team Mizuno Midwest
Homebase: St. Peters, MO
Top hitters: C Jake Henson, Francis Howell Central; DH Dean Ballenger, Francis Howell Central; SS Colton Howell, Ft. Zumwalt West; 3B Braxton Martinez, Francis Howell North.
Top pitchers: LHP Alex Erb, Francis Howell Central; RHP Braxton Martinez, Francis Howell North.
Games: Friday vs. St. Louis Cougars at 9 a.m. at Blanchette Park; Saturday vs. Rawlings Tigers at 9 a.m. at C&H Park; vs. Trailblazers at 4:30 pm at Parkway Central.
St. Louis Sting
Homebase: North County St. Louis.
Top hitters: 1B Juan Bowers, Trinity Catholic; OF Trevor Jones, Hazelwood West; OF Jarod Hahn, Ft. Zumwalt West; IF Ryan Smith, Affton.
Top pitchers: Rich Dimorek, Triad; Tyler McCorkle, Seckman.
Games: Saturday vs. Knights of Under Armour at 11:30 a.m. at Blanchette Park.
St. Louis Recruits 18U
Homebase: St. Louis
Top hitters: 1B Danny Heim, Parkway North; OF Andy Robbins, Kirkwood; OF Mark O’Moran, Mehlville.
Top pitchers: James Ball, Hillsboro; Robbie Gordon, Ladue; Danny Heim, Parkway North.
Games: Friday vs. Midwest Chiefs 4:30 p.m. at Lindenwood; Saturday vs. BNBA Gold 2 p.m. at Blanchette Park.
Homebase: Bloomington-Normal, IL
Top hitters: Trey Rogers, Kyle Vaughn, Tim Coonan, Matt Barnes.
Top pitchers: Jared Steck, Joe Burge, Chris Beard.
Games: Friday vs. North Knights 7 p.m. at Lindenwood; Saturday vs. St. Louis Recruits 2 p.m. at Blanchette Park.
Southern Illinois Bullets
Homebase: Marion, IL
Top hitters: Keelin Rasch, Logan Tabor, A.J. Fink, Trey Garrett.
Top pitchers: Ryne Roper, Cameron Cummins, Deeton Reed.
Games: Friday vs. MO Bucks 4:30 p.m. at SCCC; Saturday vs. St. Louis Recruits 16U 9 a.m at Parkway Central.
Homebase: South County St. Louis
Top hitters: C Nathan Bruns, Pacific; Austin Coleman, Sullivan; Ryan Jones, Brentwood.
Top pitchers: Ryan Jones, Brentwood; Josh Wheeler, O’Fallon Christian; Josh Matejka, O’Fallon Christian.
Games: Friday vs. Trailblazers 2 p.m at Blanchette Park; Saturday vs. Team Mizuno Midwest 9 a.m. at C&H Park.
Homebase: Kirkwood, MO
Top hitters: Max Hirbe, Kirkwood; James Glunt, Kirkwood.
Top pitchers: Jason Sandler, Ladue; Ryan Bearden, Kirkwood.
Games: Friday vs. St. Louis Browns 2 p.m. at Lindenwood; Saturday vs. St. Louis Tigers 4:30 p.m. at Blanchette Park.
St. Louis Browns
Homebase: West County St. Louis
Top hitters: Ryan Snyder, Vianney; Drew Moran, Trinity Catholic; Ryan Barnes, Vianney.
Top pitchers: Jake Rule, Vianney; Brandon Schlicting, Vianney; Matt Seevers, Marquette.
Games: Friday vs. Kirkwood Tigers 2 p.m. at Lindenwood; Saturday vs. Gamers Blue 2 p.m. at Parkway Central.