OLEAN, NY – The Prep Baseball Report East West Battle Showcase, set for Friday through Sunday, could be more than just another baseball tournament.
“There will be college coaches and scouts in attendance,” said Charlie Karstedt, assistant director of Prep Baseball Report New York. “Our goal is to give it as much coverage as we possibly can to help promote kids.”
Karstedt said the tournament, which will be held at four locations in the Greater Olean area, will not only provide exciting games for the players, but also help them exhibit their potential and skills for college coaches.
Larry Sudbrook, head baseball coach at St. Bonaventure University, said events such as the PBR showcase help coaches in the recruiting process.
“It’s an assemblage of talented players,” Sudbrook said. “When you can get talented players on your campus to see what a beautiful campus it is and a spectacular baseball facility, it certainly is something that works well for us in the recruiting process.”
Sudbrook said recruiters look for skills needed for Division 1 baseball.
“You’ll get a guy that usually stands out,” Sudbrook said. “This is a guy that’s a little faster than everybody else, has a little more bat speed than everybody else, a little better arm, drives the ball to the field, or as far as a pitcher goes he’s got better arm action, certainly throws harder, more velocity; there’s a lot of things that are just going to jump out at you.”
Brian O’Connell Jr., an Olean area attorney and owner of the New York Collegiate Baseball League’s Olean Oilers, helped PBR organize the tournament and the use of Bradner Stadium, where the Oilers play. O’Connell said he sees the showcase as an opportunity for not only the players and coaches involved, but the Greater Olean area as a whole.
“Having a lot of outside people come to the area is great for economic development and to showcase our city,” he said.
The showcase, will be split into two divisions: one of 14- and 15-year-old players and one of 16- and 17-year-old players, which is the division of potential college prospects. The older division will include 21 teams, while the younger will have 16 teams.
PBR will use McGraw-Jennings Field at St. Bonaventure University, Olean’s Bradner Stadium, Kessel Athletic Complex at University of Pittsburgh-Bradford and Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex at Houghton College as the main fields, according to Karstedt.
“It’s a good atmosphere down there,” Karstedt said. “You’ve got four very nice venues in a pretty close proximity, which is rare in this area.”
The scheduled participants, as listed by PBR, are: 14 and 15-, Junior Elmira Pioneers (14u and 15u), Lou Gehrig Iron Horsemen 14u, Ontario Blue Jays East, Ontario Blue Jays West, Storm Chasers, Tri-City Bombers (14 and 15), Upper Deck Baseball 14u, Nickel City Nine Baseball 15u, NY Nighthawks, Baseball U, Diamond Pro Hurricanes (14u and 15u), Full Circuit Power 2019’s and Oilers 14u; 16 and 17- All In Sports 17u, Diamond Pro Hurricanes 17u, Full Circuit Power (2016’s and 2017’s), Grow 2 Pro (17’s, Black and Orange), Hit n Run Highlanders, Mavericks 17u, New Era (16u and 17u), North East Twins, Padres 17u, Team Valle (16u and Gray), Titans 16u, Tri-City Bombers (16 and 17), Upper Deck 17u, and WNY (Prospects and Renegades).
PBR plans to begin the games for the younger division on Friday at 1 p.m. and for the older division the same day at 4 p.m. Visit the PBR website for the full schedule.