FARMINGTON – A 24-team tournament in Melissa, Texas, and a brand-new regional event scheduled for Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, kick off a series of events as the road to the Connie Mack World Series begins to take shape.
There are some familiar faces to Connie Mack World Series fans as the Five Tool Texas Connie Mack World Series Qualifier opens Tuesday at the Texas Sports Village in Melissa, just outside of Dallas-Fort Worth.
The Texas Stix, the Dallas Tigers and Dulin’s Dodgers are just a few of the teams that have competed in the Connie Mack World Series in the past.
The tournament is divided into two brackets, each consisting of 12 teams in a tournament in which all teams will play a minimum of four games.
The top teams from each bracket will meet in a best 2-of-3 series beginning Saturday for the right to play in the Connie Mack World Series, which opens at Ricketts Park in Farmington on Friday, July 21.
The Dallas Tigers team coached by Brett Begman has already played nine games this season, with a record of 8-1 and back-to-back shutout victories in a local regional event which wrapped up last weekend.
The Tigers are led by Brady Gray, who drove in four runs while hitting a pair of doubles in an 11-0 rout over the Diamond Prospects, also from Dallas.
Gray, entering his senior year at Farmersville High School, has already committed to Abilene Christian University.
Sawyer Strosnider is a recent commit to Texas Christian University who is entering his senior season at Brock High School. Strosnider is a dual-threat player who has been a solid contributor for the Eagles on the mound and in the batters’ box, hitting .528 in his sophomore season and striking out 31 hitters in 21⅓ innings of work.
The Dallas Tigers will open the Texas Connie Mack qualifier Tuesday night with a matchup against the Kraken Baseball team.
The Stix Baseball Club, which competed in four of the last 10 Connie Mack World Series events, are led by Tyler Dobbs from Hebron High School and is a recent commit to Wichita State University, as well as Jaxon Willits, a recent graduate from Fort Cobb-Broxton High School in Oklahoma. The Mustangs last month captured the Class B state prep baseball title thanks to Willits, who recently announced his intent to join the Oklahoma Sooners baseball program this fall.
Willits is the oldest son of Reggie Willits, who parlayed his collegiate baseball career into a six-year stint in Major League Baseball, playing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Reggie is currently an assistant coach for the Sooners.
The Stix will open its tournament run Tuesday afternoon against the Dallas Pirates.
For more information on the regional tournament taking place in Texas, including rosters, schedules and results, check out the official tournament page at fivetool.org.