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Tournaments : : Story
PG/EvoShield Nat'l Championship Preview
Jim Ecker        
Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The National Championships that will be played in Arizona this week have a new name, a new title sponsor and more prestige. 

It keeps getting better and better. 

EvoShield has joined forces with Perfect Game USA to present the 2010 Perfect Game/Evoshield National Championships that will be held at the Goodyear and Peoria Sports Complexes in Arizona this Friday through Monday (Sept. 24-27). 

The tournament will have two levels of competition: The Upperclass National Championships for 2011 high school graduates and younger, and the Underclass National Championships for 2012 grads and younger. They will be run simultaneously. 

West Coast teams have been hungry for a national tournament in their area, and now they have one. The PG/Evoshield event is intended as the West Coast version of the WWBA World Championship that will be held in Jupiter, Fla., in late October. 

“There’s no real national tournament like this on the West Coast,” said Mike Spiers, the director of the California-based ABD baseball program  and West Coast Director for Perfect Game USA. “For this tournament here, I think it’s going to be just as big some day as the Jupiter event, if not better.” 

Evoshield is a relatively new and rapidly growing company that specializes in sports protective gear. It’s the first company to become the title sponsor of a Perfect Game event, and both companies are delighted with the partnership. 

This tournament began as the WWBA National Invitational in 2007, but it keeps growing and evolving. There will be 51 teams in the Upperclass National Championship and 37 teams in the Underclass National Championship. Sixty-three of those 88 teams are from California and Arizona, but there also will be teams from Texas, Hawaii, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Utah, Montana, Virginia, New Mexico and Canada. 

The ABD Bulldogs, who had five players compete for an 18U national team this year, are one of the favorites to win the Upperclass title this week, but they’re not alone. The Southern California Bombers, San Diego Show, San Gabriel Valley Arsenal, the EDH Vipers, Cencal Baseball, Blue Wave Baseball and the South Florida Bandits all have strong clubs, as do other teams in the field. 

“A lot of people think we’re one of the favorites. I don’t know if we are or not,” said Spiers. “I think we’re coming in and a lot of people want to knock us off.”