Summer baseball tournament starts today

By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal

The high school summer baseball schedule in June can be very laid back. Over the next seven days, Northeast Mississippi will try to inject some attitude as the schedule wraps up.
That attitude begins today in the annual NEMCABB Northeast Mississippi Summer High School Baseball Championships.
“I enjoy this tournament,” Oxford head coach Chris Baughman said. “It usually gives us a chance to play teams we don’t normally see during the summer.
“It gives Northeast Mississippi coaches a chance to get together and watch each other play. It’s a neat thing.”
The tournament format today and Friday calls for regional play at six sites in the area – Booneville, Ripley, East Union, Itawamba AHS, Calhoun City, and Oxford. In five of the regionals, there will be four teams, with each team playing each other for seeding purposes for next week’s single-elimination format, which begins Monday at the New Albany Sportsplex.
something to play for
“I like this tournament,” said Booneville head coach Bo Sandlin, whose Blue Devils are hosting one of the regionals. “It gives the kids something to play for.
“You spend the first part of the summer looking at kids in different positions. In this tournament, they can put things together from the things you’ve learned.”
This year’s tournament will feature 23 teams, including seven division champions from the 2013 season – Baldwyn, Kossuth, Tupelo, Amory, Mooreville, Oxford, and Calhoun City. Also, East Union played in the Class 2A championship series, while Kossuth claimed the 3A state title.
“These two days are really only for seeding purposes, so I’ll pretty much throw all our guys on a short pitch count,” said Baughman on how he was going to approach the handling of his pitching staff during the seven-day time frame. “That will set us up for the next part of the tournament.”
Lafayette defeated North Pontotoc in last year’s championship game.