The high school baseball season just started on Monday, but already this weekend we’ll be knee deep in showcase tournaments, highlighted by the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic hosted by Mainland. The tournament is in its ninth year and began at Millville, where assistant Mike Edwards helped organize it in remembrance of his mother, who died from cancer. Edwards has since moved over to Mainland and the Mustangs have hosted the tournament for the past couple of years, aside from 2020, which was wiped out due to the coronavirus.
The tournament features two marquee matchups right off the bat today, as Ocean City takes on Bishop Eustace at 4 p.m. at Fehrle Field in Somers Point, followed by host Mainland against Cherokee. Then, Saturday and Sunday both feature four games at Mainland High School beginning at 9 a.m.
Here’s a look at the Saturday/Sunday schedule:
9 a.m.: Atlantic City vs. Bridgeton
11:30 a.m.: Holy Spirit vs. Don Bosco Prep
2 p.m.: Delsea Regional vs. Lenape
4:30 p.m.: Millville vs. Cherry Hill East
9 a.m.: Absegami vs. Cedar Creek
11:30 a.m.: Kingsway vs. Hammonton
2 p.m. Gloucester Catholic vs. St. Augustine Prep
4:30 p.m.: Clearview vs. Washington Township
The tournament is presented by Bunting Family Pharmacy along with the new South Jersey South Shore Baseball League, which was founded this year by Joe Bunting, owner and operator of Bunting Family Pharmacy. The league features 10 team and will begin play on May 24, and will feature many of the star high school players who will appear in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. For more information on the wood bat league geared toward ages 16 to 25, visit www.southjerseyssbl.com.
Other sponsors for Coaches vs. Cancer include The American Cancer Society, Prep Baseball Report, Peak Performance, Concannon & Charles P.C., Gas Up Barbershop, Baseball Performance Center and Second To None Baseball Academy.
In addition, BFA Productions will be livestreaming each of the 10 games. You can check out BFA Live Sports on YouTube to hook into the streaming.
Spirit heads north: Holy Spirit will be involved in the Autism Awareness Challenge in Middlesex County this weekend, an event started in 2008 by Mike Garlatti, a longtime scout for the Colorado Rockies. He started the tournament in honor of his son, who was diagnosed with autism, and now the event features 40 teams and more than 600 players from throughout the state. It will be extra special for Holy Spirit senior Anthony Solari, who has autism and is expected to get some time in as a pitcher.
Oakcrest hosting Hedelt: As is customary this time of year, Oakcrest is hosting the 27th Annual Al Hedelt Tournament and this year the slate includes Vineland, Southern Regional, Middle Township, Kings Christian, Cumberland Regional, Buena Regional and host Oakcrest. The format is seven teams, with host Oakcrest getting a bye into the second round, single elimination but each school will get a minimum of two games because of consolation rounds.
The tournament starts on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with Kings Christian against Middle and Buena vs. Southern, followed by Cumberland vs. Vineland at 12:30 p.m. Semifinals are Sunday morning at 9:30 with the championship game at 12:30 p.m.
Bunting Family Pharmacy Baseball: Coaches vs. Cancer at Mainland highlights busy weekend on the diamond