WARSAW – Nice weather, happy faces and plenty of energy ushered in the first day of the 2015 Baseball Players Association World Series. The week-long baseball tournament kicked off Tuesday with the skills tournament at the CCAC as well as a parade of teams in downtown Warsaw.
Teams from seven states across the midwest are in town for the 10U and 13U baseball tournaments, which begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning and run through the championship games Saturday afternoon. The teams checked in at the CCAC and were then invited to compete in skills competitions, which featured team home-to-home base sprint, team around the horn throwing, and an individual home run derby.
The 10U Granger Cubs won the home-to-home contest with a snappy time of 56.69 seconds. The LaPorte Sluggers were the 13U home-to-home champs with a 1:02.36 clock. The around the horn 10U title went to the New Haven Bulldogs Black team with a 9.1 time while the LaPorte Sluggers added the 13U around the horn title to its mantle with a 9.02 finish.
Winning the home run derby for the 10U group was Jake “Two Shoes” Goode, representing the River City Thunder out of Fort Wayne. Goode smacked five homers to outdo Gavin Collins of the Middlebury Mavericks in the finals. In the 13U competition, Adam Kenworthy mashed four homers to claim the title from the Fern Creek Force from Louisville. Braden Ripplinger, of Wabash playing for the CCAC Attack, finished second.
All of the tournament teams were part of a parade that started at 6 p.m. Tuesday around the courthouse in downtown Warsaw. Emcee Roger Grossman introduced each of the teams, which gathered in front of the courthouse to hear guest speakers Joseph Thallemer, mayor of Warsaw, BPA representative Don Snopek, and Doug Schreiber, Purdue University baseball head coach.
Schreiber, who has coached at Purdue since 1999, has won 455 games as a head coach in his career and 219 Big Ten games as manager of the Boilermakers. Both figures rank as tops all-time in Purdue baseball history. Schreiber, a LaPorte native, also coached with legendary college baseball head coach Pat Murphy at Notre Dame and Arizona State, where those teams were among the finest in college baseball.
Schreiber addressed the teams that the tournament is about playing in the moment, and that failure can only be overcome by the will to succeed.
“You can always overachieve,” Schreiber said. “You hit three out of 10 or make seven outs of out 10, and you’re still considered really, really good.”
Schreiber continued to say, “Have great fun. Be excited to be here. And stay in the moment. You can always make a mistake, it’s part of baseball. Just pick yourself up and try again.
“Good luck. Have fun. Go get ’em.”