‘All-Stars Rebound for Championship Victory’
Submitted by Marc Deweese
On September 24th and 25th, the Inaugural NWA Classic was played in Springdale, Arkansas at the Randall Tyson Recreational Complex. The entry fee for the tournament was $750 with a 3-game guarantee, but we were able to have a consolation game as well for the two teams eliminated from the tournament.
In year one, the tournament hosted the Valley Bombers (Fort Smith, AR), Wichita Black Sox, Little Rock White Sox, and Northwest Arkansas All-Stars. All four teams competed in pool play on Saturday and the Wichita Black Sox came out as the #1 seed going undefeated. In tournament play on Sunday 4) Valley Bombers took on 1) Black Sox and 3) White Sox faced off against 2) NWA All-Stars in the first round. The Black Sox run ruled the Valley Bombers and the All-Stars defeated the White Sox (6-2) advancing to the championship!
The championship game was a nail-biter all the way through. The Black Sox and All-Stars went back and forth in this 9-inning battle with two ties and four lead changes! Going into the eighth inning the score was 3-2 All-Stars. In the bottom of the eighth, the Black Sox plated two runs, taking a 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth. In a turn of events in the All-Stars half of the ninth, they scored two runs to take back the 5-4 lead! That lead would stick as relief pitcher Davey Copeland was able to close out the win for the All-Stars!
This championship game couldn’t have been any better for the Inaugural NWA Classic! Congratulations to Manager Chris Pate and the Black Sox for making it to the championship! Congratulations also go out to the NWA All-Stars and Manager Omar Zuniga for winning it all!
Special thanks go out to Managers Anthony Ashley and Travis Knack of the Valley Bombers, Manager Chris Pate of the Black Sox, Manager Stephen King of the White Sox, and Manager Omar Zuniga of the NWA All-Stars for getting this tournament started and a success.
Thank you to Springdale Parks and Rec for an amazing job of providing beautiful fields to play on! A thank you must go out to Jamey Smithson and his umpiring crew as they were pro all weekend long! Thank you to Keith Wheeler (NWAMSBL President) and Marc DeWeese (NWAMSBL Vice President) for coordinating all aspects of the tournament. And last but not least, thank you to Zac Evins and Trailhead Home Group for sponsorship of the NWA Classic Trophy!!
Because of their commitment to helping get this tournament off the ground, the NWA Classic will be making a donation to the Warhorse Legacy Foundation in Winslow, Arizona. The Warhorse Legacy Foundation (WLF) is Northwest Arkansas’ only nonprofit veterans’ organization dedicated to horsemanship, outdoor recreation, and networking. WLF offers our programs free of charge to veterans and their families. The NWA Classic will always donate its proceeds to a Veterans and/or First Responders organization.
The Classic will be back bigger and better next year! If you think you have got what it takes to take down the defending champ NWA All-Stars, bring it!
To all the players and teams who participated, thank you again!