Domingo Ayala is making a trip to Oregon for the Bend Elks Memorial Tournament! He will be making the rounds at different facilities over the course of two days.
Keep your eyes open for Domingo! #BigTyne
2:00 - 2:30 Skyline
2:45 - 3:15 Summit HS
3:30 - 4:00 Pine Nursery
4:15 - 4:35 Bend Elks
10:00 - 10:30 Redmond HS
10:45 - 11:15 Bowlby
11:30 - 11:50 American Legion
12:00 - 12:30 Umatilla
The Northwest Border Wars IV wrapped up its fourth year this past weekend. Teams from all over Washington represented the “North” border, while teams from Oregon represented the “South” region.
The event was a 4-game guarantee with a unique point-system. Each "RIVAL” (North vs. South) matchup win throughout the weekend, across every age division (8u-16u), earned your state RIVAL points. A pool play win equals one point, a playoff game win equals five points and a championship win equals 10 points.
All teams played two "RIVAL" games on Saturday, and on Sunday teams had to win an in-state playoff to play for the Border War Championship Game against a "RIVAL." The territory with the most RIVAL points was declared the Border Wars Champion and will hold onto the official Border Wars Trophy until the following year's event.
At times the battle was neck and neck, however the South maintained a steady lead entering the championship rounds. As a result of the entire territorial effort, the South won the Border Wars event for the second year in a row with a final score of 189-116.
The North won back-to-back championships the first two years of the event, and now the Border War series is now knotted up at 2-2. The 2018 travelling trophy will be shared between the Mound Time and Northwest Futures programs.
“The 2018 Northwest Border Wars was a huge success for all. The umpires, facilities, and competition were all outstanding, and the weather was amazing,” said tournament director Matt Pilcher. “It continues to be one of the most competitive tournaments in the Northwest year in and year out.
“The format of this event, which pairs the North teams versus the South, is a huge draw for teams that like to play new competition. This event is always on the Cinco De Mayo Weekend, and we are already looking forward toward the 2019 event.”
Congrats to the Border Wars IV Champions from all age divisions...
10u Lead Off: NW Futures Select
11u: Seatown Baseball Club
12u: NW Futures Select
13u: Mound Time Baseball
14u: WW Sweets
The Northwest Border Wars IV is slated for May 5-6 and is nearly sold out. We do have a few spots available in selected age divisions and will keep registrations open through Monday, April 30.
Check out the Who's Coming List and contact Matt Pilcher if you want to register: CLICK HERE
This 4-game guarantee is played at beautiful facilities in Hillsboro and Happy Valley with much of the action at the Hillsboro Stadium Sports Complex.
The unique format gives each team 2 "Rival" games on Saturday (North vs. South) with playoffs and championship games on Sunday.
The Territory with the most rival points will be declared the Border Wars champion! In 2017, the South came away victorious scoring 240 points to 179 by the North.
Contact: Matt Pilcher
Call/Text: (970) 672-0562
Like a lot of people toward the end of the 2000’s, Scott Ackerman looked to the internet and thought he had decoded a way to make a living. Of course, that world proved to be a mystery to many people, and Ackerman wasn’t even terribly surprised when the logic of selling baseball and softball bats online ran as dry as the profits.
But Ackerman had no interest in lingering over what happened; he’s always been more about what could happen next.
A sixth-round draft choice by the Montreal Expos in 1997, Ackerman enjoyed a brief minor-league career before returning to his home state of Oregon and diving into the next chapter. He married, worked in construction, and then as a high school baseball coach for a tiny school in the forest – a school so tiny and tied to the logging industry that players didn’t practice on Fridays so they could get a jump on the weekend’s work.
Along with a friend, Ackerman fired up The Bat Company, an online company that would ideally provide a wage as well as generate money to support a baseball-outreach program that benefited the poor in the Dominican Republic. The business failed, but Ackerman kept The Bat Company name and created his own baseball training and development academy that is one of the real success stories in the Northwest.
“So, you should probably be a Web guy if you’re going to start an on-line store. I’m not – I’m a jock who never went to college,” said Ackerman, who has a 13u and 14u baseball team and 12u, 14u and 18u softball teams playing through The Bat Company. “But I did get an extensive education in the streets. So, in the meantime, I knew I could work with kids, and the training went through the roof while the store went through the floor.”
Indeed, the story’s happy ending just keeps on evolving. The club has gone through four indoor facilities in five years while trying to satisfy growth and demand of skill training; the pool of customers is an interesting one, because suburban Portland has about one talented athlete for every six you’ll find in Seattle. Parents and athletes know they need to take it up a notch in West Linn, Ore., but they’re not quite sure how.
“I try to put together the most competitive team, and I go to tournaments. We’ve got kids from a smaller demographic who think they are Little League All-Stars, because we don’t ever play anybody,” Ackerman said. “We get better at the bigger events. Kids need to see what baseball looks like.”
About three years ago two partners purchased a stake in The Bat Company, including Derek Heyden, a 1986 draftee of the Cincinnati Reds and a longtime coach in multiple sports. Heyden’s daughter loved her softball workouts with Ackerman, and Heyden has found his run with The Bat Company to be intriguing as he organizes the team side of things (uniforms, schedules and more).
“With our (most recent) facility, you know you’re taking on a lot of overhead. It’s a day-to-day thing, and it’s very seasonal, which can be a problem,” he said. “Luckily, the weather is cooperative around here by not being very nice. The winter months are good, but there is a ton of competition and a lot of great organizations. We have to put a product out there that’s above everyone else.”
And the health of the product is very much tied to Ackerman’s philosophy of positive tone coupled with thoughtful work. He credits the mentors he had early in his athletic life for providing the framework, and he’s filled in with his own touches. One training technique Ackerman favors is having an 8-year-old learn with a 10-year-old from time to time; 10’s work with 12’s, 12’s with 14’s and 14’s with high-schoolers. Younger players like to try and meet the standard of their elders.
“My No. 1 philosophy is, coaches have to have more energy than the kids. I bring a ton of energy to the table, but we also hold the kids to a very high standard,” he said. “We’re always teaching in a positive environment, and I’m not a negative guy. We discipline that you are responsible for your actions. It can be pretty brutal, but I stay positive through that process.
“There’s energy to the workouts, the training and the game, and we dig deep into the relationships with every kid that walks in the door. Kids go through a lot socially. We talk about leadership, communication, anticipation.”
Baseball in the area will need every ally and advocate it can get, thanks to the creeping influence of other sports and the general cultural shift that suggests kids need a more rigorous attention span to handle the demands of softball and baseball.
“I know we are definitely losing kids, specifically to lacrosse. I know a lot of players I coached made the switch, and I get it,” Heyden said. “Lacrosse is fun and exciting, and baseball is what you make of it. If you understand it and appreciate it, it’s the best game out there. But if kids don’t get that immediate satisfaction, they know there are other options. Baseball is hard; the guys that stick it out will see a payoff. There’s not a better game to prepare you for life.”
There are flickers of progress. The number of D-I baseball players to come out of Oregon is on a steady rise, and there’s some seasonal excitement in the college game as well. The baseball world got a nice boost when Oregon State won NCAA D-I titles in 2006 and 2007.
“We are losing a ton of kids to lacrosse in Oregon. And this is something across the board nationally, where we are fighting the entitlement generation that doesn’t want to work,” Ackerman said. “What I love about baseball is that it will call you out if you don’t have the skills to perform. Kids and parents don’t like to fail very much.
“I’m going to burn some bridges here with lacrosse – in lacrosse, you can definitely hide behind your mask and gear, and it’s easier for kids to deal with. I think we are still going in the right direction overall, there are more organizations starting up, and one thing I do know is, I love competition.”
The Bat Company can certainly take comfort in knowing the message is getting through.
“I like the attitude there. They preach playing hard and playing as a team, and how important it is to get better and be ready for the next level,” said Brett Thomas, a junior at Tigard High School and a product of the Bat Company program. “And while baseball is too uphill for some people, it leaves the ones who truly enjoy the game. When everyone there really enjoys playing and what they are doing, it builds a stronger team overall.”
With two successful years in the rearview mirror and nothing but excitement about the road ahead, Triple Crown Sports and YouTube sensation Domingo Ayala have announced their partnership will continue with the release of the 2018 TCS Tour schedule.
Ayala’s “Theory of Beisbol” series and other videos on YouTube have racked up more than 28 million views. He has performed in a variety of settings, from indoor sports facilities, sports complexes, youth baseball fundraisers, corporate events and even in MLB locker rooms. Ayala’s unconventional journey to excellence as a profoundly skilled athlete provides a great deal of comedic material that sports fans continue to embrace; until that day he signs an MLB contract that properly rewards a player of his profound skill set, Triple Crown Sports is thrilled to have him on location.
“The players, coaches and families who play with us simply get a light in their eyes when Domingo Ayala shows up at the ballpark,” said Joe Santilli, director of baseball for Triple Crown Sports. “We are all about competition and skill-building with TCS baseball and softball, but it’s important to remember how much a good laugh makes it easier to stay in love with the game.”
Triple Crown Sports, which produces a variety of competitive, premier destination tournaments drawing thousands of athletes and their families, welcomes Domingo Ayala to the following events:
Arizona Spring Championships, Session 2 – March 17 (Phoenix, AZ)
Bend Elks Memorial Day Tournament – May 27-28 (Bend, OR)
Omaha SlumpBuster, Session 1 – June 14-15 (Omaha, NE)
Omaha SlumpBuster, Session 3 – June 23-24 (Omaha, NE)
Colorado Sparkler/Fireworks Fastpitch – June 27-28 (Denver, CO)
TC Baseball World Series – July 16 (Park City, UT)
U.S. Club Nationals – July 24 (Atlanta, GA)
TC Baseball World Series – July 31 (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Details on Domingo Ayala’s appearances will appear on the Triple Crown website (www.triplecrownsports.com) and TCS social media outlets; Ayala will also share details on his website (www.domingobeisbol.com) and Twitter feed (@DomingoBeisbol)
About Domingo Ayala:
Domingo Ayala was born and raised in Puerto Plata, DR sometime between 1978 and 1988 (records have not been verified). At a young age, with the influence of his cousin and longtime baseball coach, Vladimir Ayala, Domingo began to excel at the game of baseball. In the Dominican Republic, Domingo has been a 7-time Infielder of the Year and 6-time Outfielder of the Year award winner (two years overlapping when he played both SS and LF in order to hit twice in the lineup).