The Hot Corner...


If you want to know what's going on each weekend in travel baseball in the Central Valley.... you've come to the right place.


Every Thursday we will give our insights into what is happening as we "predict" and "project" the weekend's tournaments/events.


The main event in the Valley this weekend is USSSA's Central Valley Shootout being held at Granite Park and Buchanan High School. The event features 30 teams in 6 different age groups with teams from Fremont, Modesto, Bakersfield and everywhere in between.


The 18u division features all local teams with the Central Valley Marlins being the most experienced travel organization in the bracket. The CV Marlins organization does a great job of putting our local athletes in front of college scouts each year. They will be difficult to beat.


Prediction:

1. CV Marlins

2. CenCal Grizzlies

3. Visalia Nuts

4. Corcoran


The 16u (frosh/soph) division will see a significant amount of local talent. This division will feature many up and coming TRAC players. It will be a competitive division, however, The Crew out of the south valley has had its way most recently and are definitely the team to beat. We would be remiss if we did not mention Fig Garden Academy which is a feeder program that has been launched by the new Bullard Coaching staff.... The freshman class at Bullard is looking solid with former Tri-County players Mark Baca and Jim Moltini; looking forward to seeing this academy progress.


Predictions:

1. The Crew

2. Fig Garden Academy (Bullard)

3. San Joaquin Ballers

4. CenCal Grizzlies


The 13u division will feature many teams playing on the big field for the first time. The big field is the "equalizer" but the Bakersfield Young Guns and Play Hard out of the Modesto area are no rookies. These two teams will battle it out for the ship on Sunday as they did in the 10 inning epic battle during their last encounter.


Prediction:

1. Play Hard

2. Bakersfield Young Guns

3. Visalia Legends

4. Cali Tigers

5. OBF

6. Fresno Storm

7. Valley Select


The 12u division is the feature bracket of the weekend with two top 10 teams in California battling it out. Play Hard comes in as the heavy favorite as California's #4 Major team. Tri-County Baseball with players out of Fresno/Kings/Tulare County have to be the main contender to knock Play Hard off. Tabu baseball out of Fremont will be looking to play spoiler while the Tigers out of Lemoore are expected to continue with their scrappy play.


As the 12u division is scheduled to play on Field 1 at Granite park with the Green Monster at 260' in left field....the big question is...can these 12 year olds hit it out?


All games in the 12u division will be streamed on Facebook live via Central California Travel Baseball. Don't miss the action!


Predictions:

1. Tri-County Baseball

2. Play Hard

3. Tabu

4. Lemoore

5. OBF


In the 11s... CD Elite out of Fowler and coached by Curtis Diredo will be tough to beat. Although this division will be competitive, we have to go with CD Elite as they have a proven track record. Our sleeping dog in this division is the W.C. Bombers coached by Frank Pavone.


Predictions:

1. CD Elite

2. W.C. Bombers

3. OBF

4. Tri-Cities

5. Big Bats


Lest we forget our youngest, but most likely our loudest bracket, the 10s... Ever notice how the decibel level goes down as the age group goes up, lol... The 9s/10s parents will be in full force...mark our words! The 10s bracket is a combo 9u and 10u division. The 9u teams will compete, however, size and age will ultimately win in this group. The CS Bears, a feeder group into Buchanan area, will be a force to reckon with....with Big Bats as the strongest contender.


Predictions:

1. CS Bears

2. Big Bats

3. CV 4:13

4. Panthers Baseball Club


Well there you have it....check back next Tuesday to see how we did... as we will have our inaugural Coach's Corner as we summarize and analyze the weekend's events.

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