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Blizzard heading to final winter tournament in AZ next weekend

03/12/2022, 10:45am CST
By Christopher Lakeside, contributing writer | Blizzard Elite Baseball

West Coast Premier Arizona Spring Championships - 6 game guarantee

Blizzard heading to AZ with five teams to compete at WCP Spring Training Championships - a preview sponsored by Twin Cites Orthopedics

West Coast Premier Schedule - Session 3 (March 16-20)

The Minnesota Blizzard Elite program will be taking their final trip of the winter season this next weekend when the take their 12u, 13u (2 teams), 14u (2 teams) head to the West Coast Premier Spring Training Championships.

This year's Blizzard Elite program has brought about a lot of highlights including 19 championships and another 20 top-four finishes since the season began August 1st.  In addition, almost all of our seniors (28) have committed to play baseball beyond high school with three yet to make their final decision.

"I feel like we have finally gotten over that covid hump," Blizzard owner Adam Barta said.  "Traveling, playing ball without masks and just a sense of normalcy both at home and on the road has been so refreshing.  It has been so nice to be able to see grandmas and grandpas at games.  We didn't see a lot of that in the last couple of years and I like to think that I don't take things for granted, but seeing more relatives in the stands has been one of the special items I didn't know I missed from before."

"We've also see more coaches at games which has been nice."

The Blizzard have played several of their tournaments at home in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, but they were also lucky enough to play in the Prospect Select World Series in Florida, the WCP Desert Fall Classic in Las Vegas, the Treasure Coast Classic in Vero Beach with their last trip being in Mesa, AZ at Bell Bank Park, an all turf facility in Mesa, AZ.  West Coast Premier Tournaments is hosting and owner/director Drew Reiners is excited to have the Blizzard program back down.

"WCP Tournaments is excited to welcome Blizzard families back to the desert for their 5th straight Spring Training Tournament," Reiners said.  "A staple organization in our event every year, the Blizzard coaches, players and families are always a highlight for us."

Bell Bank Ball park will be a new site for Blizzard players this year.  WCP has secured one of the more unique complexes in the area.  All the fields are at one site with every field having turf surface.  All teams will play six games; two scrimmages on Thursday with the 'official' four-game bracket beginning on Friday.  Championship games are slated to start on Sunday at 1:30pm.  All Blizzard games can be watched on Game Changer.

The Blizzard teams are going to be able to enjoy some Major League Baseball Spring Training, too!  Now that the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players has been resolved, the Blizzard players can enjoy both playing the game and watch a little baseball with their families, too!

"As a parent, the opportunity to experience Arizona, it's first-class facilities and amazing weather," Blizzard parent Charlie Brookins said.  "compliments quality family time we all want and deserve.  These days are numbered and the family time we get with our boys will never be replaced.  We are thankful for all of the amazing experiences and memories with the Blizzard."

The coaches are excited as well to head down to the sunny state of Arizona, too.

"Every time we get to compete, I'm excited," Coach Cole Albers said.  "I'm typically with my 2024 team, but to be with the younger guys gets me pumped up to teach and help these guys compete."

Here are some of the top performers from the season to keep an eye on

Blizzard 11u/12u

Top Hitters
Owen Brookins: 65 AB / .471 BA. / 1.197 OPS / .627 SLG - 8 2Bs, 27 R
Miles Tomaszewski: 66 AB / .439 BA / 1.112 OPS / .596 SLG - 7 2Bs, 21 RBI
Lincoln Chandler: 53 AB / .458 / 1.093 OPS / .583 SLG - 20 RBI, 13-13 SB

Top Pitchers
Noah Scott: 21.1 IP / 16K
Connor Flanagan: 18.1 IP / 32 K
Sam VonBank: 16IP / 7K

Blizzard Black 13u

Top Hitters
Nate Barclay: 85 AB / .566 BA / 1.489 OPS / .882 SLG - 43 H, 12 2Bs, 35 RBI, 28 R
RJ Madison: 69 AB / .492 BA / 1.178 OPS - 28 RBI, 20 R, 21 SB
Riley West: 72 AB / .444 / 1.188 OPS - 32 H, 11 2Bs, 31 RBI, 34 R

Top Pitchers
Robbie Babcock: 26.2 IP, 43 K
Max Prideaux: 23 IP, 19K
Riley West: 21.1 IP, 22K

Blizzard Blue 13u

Top Hitters
Ty Beck: 87 AB / .559 BA / 1.578 OPS / 1.000 SLG - 7 2Bs, 5 3Bs, 3HR
Carson Hart: 86 AB / .554 BA / 1.431 OPS / .838 SLG - 41 H, 8 2Bs, 5 3Bs, 31 SB
Brady Keane: 90 AB / .535 BA / 1.249 OPS - 38 H, 33 RBI, 24 SB
Easton Ahrens: 94 AB / .514 BA / 1.404 OPS - 38 H, 11 2Bs, 38 R

Top Pitchers
Oscar Waisanen: 26 IP, 19K
Easton Ahrens: 22.1 IP / 29K
Matthew Grundtner: 20.2 IP / 20K

Blizzard Black 14u

Top Hitters
Colin Fike: 91 AB / .447 BA / .516 OBP - 34 H, 37 R, 15-15 SB
Henry Saunders: 89 AB / .444 / .551 OBP / 32 H, 25 R, 6K, 15-17 SB
Keith Milam: 83 AB / .388 - 26 H, 5 2B, 24 R

Top Pitchers
Brendan Koester: 29.1 IP, 5-0, 32K, 6 ER. 1.42 ERA
Charlie Mueller: 25.1 IP, 3-3, 21K, 7 starts
Colin Fike: 22.2 IP, 18K, .228 BAA

Blizzard Blue 14u

Top Hitters
Spencer Barta: 101 AB: .438 BA / .525 OBP - 35 H, 33 RBI, 37 R, 12-12 SB
Jace Matazynski: 99 AB: .400 / .475 OBP - 34 H, 9 2B, 13 SB
Kaleb LaFavor: 87 AB: .408 - 31 H, 27 RBI, 3K, 7-7 SB
Sam Abrahamson: 93 AB: .382 BA / 1.052 OPS - 11 2Bs, 25 RBI, 9-9 SB

Top Pitchers
Van Tellier: 30 IP, 30K, 5ER, 1.16 ERA, .212 BAA
Sam Abrahamson: 26.2 IP, 34K
Alex Seaver: 24.2 IP, 36K, 9ER, 2.55 ERA,
Nick Stellrecht: 23.2 IP, 24 K, 2.07 ERA, .221 BAA
Kaleb LaFavor: 23 IP, 25K, 2.79 ERA, .228 BAA

Tag(s): Test