Includes award winners, all-tournament teams
COMMERCE — There’s a first for everything.
The Mickey Mantle Classic traditionally has had to cope with the weather.
Rain led to the cancellation of the whole tournament in 2008, then two other times championship games in the Triple Crown division were scrapped.
Now you can add snow to a reason for cancellation.
Overnight snow and cold temperatures led tournament officials to cancel the whole slate for Saturday, April 7.
“You have two ways to look at it: you can either laugh or you can cry,” tournament director Brian Waybright said. “We’re choosing to laugh. It’s amazing though. I had ice on my vehicle.”
An autograph session with former New York Yankee player Bucky Dent as well as the Saturday night awards banquet went on as scheduled.
“We had a contingency plan (for the games), but this changed everything,” Waybright said. “There’s not a thing we can do about it.”
Joe Becker Stadium hosted play on Thursday and Friday and consolation games were scheduled for there on Saturday.
But the Joplin Sports Authority, which has helped coordinate the use of Joe Becker, cancelled that and a USSAA tournament over the weekend.
“At least we did get all of the pool games in,” Waybright said. “That is one of our goals. If people are going to take a week out of their schedule for this tournament, we need to give them the best opportunity to play.
“We accomplished that.”
The tournament schedule over the week was a roller-coaster ride.
Only one of Monday’s three games and all three of the Tuesday slate at Mickey Mantle Field were postponed.
Two games were played at Joe Becker and one at Wendell Redden Field in Joplin on Wednesday, then another six were completed at Joe Becker and five at Mantle Field on Friday.
Wyandotte and Haskell were to have played for the Comet Division (small school) title while Neosho, Missouri, and McDonald County, Missouri, were paired in the Triple Crown (large school) final.
Third-place games included Miami vs. Locust Grove (Triple Crown) and Commerce vs. the Neosho JV in the Comet division.
Games that were completed included:
Mickey Mantle Field:
Commerce 15, Sarcoxie, Missouri 0
Joe Becker Stadium: Wyandotte 11, Fairland 10, 7 innings, and Haskell 4, Commerce 0.
Wendell Redden Stadium: Afton 5, Sarcoxie 3.
Joe Becker: McDonald County 8, Diamond 0; Locust Grove 9, Diamond 1; Quapaw 4, Wyandotte 2; Wyandotte 5, Neosho JV 2; Fairland 5, Quapaw 4, and Neosho JV 2, Fairland 0.
Mantle Field: Haskell 6, Sarcoxie 3; Neosho, 5, Miami 2; McDonald County 1, Locust Grove 0; Commerce 11, Afton 6, and Haskell 4, Afton 0.
Joe Becker: Neosho JV 10, Quapaw 2; Neosho 3, Sequoyah 0, and Miami 13, Sequoyah 1.
Despite the cancellation, the awards banquet, featuring Dent as the speaker, was held.
Great Teammate — Cody Rice, Fairland
Comet Award — Benny Lewis
Dugout Award — Dave Pucciarelli
Tape Measure Award — Josh Bible, Locust Grove, with a 335-foot home run
Players named to the all-tournament teams were:
Triple Crown Division
Miami — Conner Womack, Drew Williams, Hunter Hartman. Caden Folks
Neosho — Kaleb Moreland, Hank Selig, Cole Seward, Jared Stephens
Locust Grove — Josh Bible, Billy Knott, Cody Hix
Diamond — Hunter Renfro, Logan Brock
Tahlequah Sequoyah — Logan Bush
McDonald County — Charlie Moore, Joe Brown, Ty Shaver
Afton — Zack Henry, Jesse Walkingstick
Commerce — Brandt Nading, Hunter Burkybile, Brandon Kelley
Fairland — Gavin Long, Thatcher Smalley
Quapaw — Kale Thomasson, Nick Hemphill
Wyandotte — Jordon Burney, Ryan Cooper, Mike Lawson
Neosho JV — Zach Bertrand, Gage Kelley, Kaden Endicott
Haskell — Colby McCarty, Jakoby Gouldsby, Russell Stuck, Deegan Merriman
Sarcoxie — Nate Ogle, Hayden Kisling