Tournament director Kyle Achord said it usually takes a village to put on a baseball tournament. The Marucci World Series requires multiple cities and resources throughout south Louisiana.
Play in the four-day tournament begins Thursday at 28 sites that range from Lafayette, to Baton Rouge, Hammond, Houma-Thibodaux and the New Orleans area. Festivities begin with opening ceremonies set for 5 p.m. Wednesday at Alex Box Stadium. A total of 114 teams will compete in four age groups.
“It is amazing how this tournament has grown in just four years,” said Achord, who won high school championships as a coach at both Central Private and Catholic High, before going to work for Marucci. “We see this tournament as a chance to do something for the travel teams we work with.
"To go from 28 teams that first year to having teams from across the United States is amazing. Last year we added teams from Canada and this year we have one from South Korea.”
Teams compete in 14-and-under, 15U, 16U and 17U divisions and will start with pool play Thursday. The top teams advance to the quarterfinals that open bracket play Saturday. Local high school sites include Central High, University, Brusly, Catholic, Family Christian, St. Amant and The Dunham School. In addition to Alex Box, college sites to be used include Southern, Southeastern, Tulane, University of New Orleans and Nicholls State. The West Feliciana Sportsplex and the Broussard Sports Complex also will host games.
Achord said the tournament features some of the nation’s top travel teams that are part of Marucci’s Founder’s Club. He said the event should attract well over 100 college and pro scouts for the second straight year. It features players committed to Southeastern Conference, ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and PAC 12 schools. For a full schedule of sites and times, go to maruccisports.com/mws.
Three local Marucci squads are coached by high school coaches. Parkview’s Emrick Jagneaux has the 17s squad, while Central Private’s Wes Theriot 16s and Brusly’s Mike Forbes 15s also are coaching Marucci squad.
Leo McClure, who was hired as Central’s head coach last month, will coach the Louisiana Tigers’ 14s. McClure’s team was a runner-up last season. Meanwhile, the Louisiana Knights have multiple entries in several age groups.
“We see this tournament as a reward for teams and it does include some of the top young players and travel teams,” Achord said. “What we didn’t anticipate was how much the teams have embraced the opportunity to come to Louisiana.”