The Mingo Bay Baseball Classic wanted to go bigger.
This week, 76 teams from around the Eastern and Central time zones will launch the largest field the tournament has ever seen in a single week as schools compete for one of the two championships awarded.
Sixteen teams from Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio played in the Mingo Bay’s four-day event last week, and 10 squads from New York will head to Myrtle Beach in late April. But during Horry and Georgetown County’s spring break vacations this week, the ballooning numbers will be noticeable.
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“Week two is our largest tournament field that we have ever assembled and may be the [largest] high school baseball tournament in the nation this season,” said Mingo Bay organizer Mike Morris, a Socastee assistant coach. “We are excited to host such an event of this magnitude in Myrtle Beach.”
The economic impact is expected to exceed a million dollars, between hotels, meals and entertainment. Last year, 124 total teams participated over a two-week span.
This time around, local programs Socastee, Conway, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, St. James, Georgetown, Waccamaw, Loris and Aynor will all participate, as well as serve as the host sites for this week’s games. Contests will begin as early as 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday during the pool play rounds. Teams will be divided into Division I and Division II based on enrollment.
Following pool play, semifinal games will take place Friday at the various sites, with the championship games to be played on Saturday. The full schedule and any possible weather-related changes will be posted at www.mingobaybaseball.com.