The World’s Largest Youth Baseball Tournament is upon us, and soon 530-plus teams from all across the country will hit the road to Omaha, Nebraska throughout the month of June. The Omaha SlumpBuster enters its 16th year offering four sessions of competition. The excitement begins on June 14th with Session 1.
This event has become a tradition for countless organizations. In 2018, teams will be traveling from more than 40 states including Hawaii, California, Texas and New Jersey.
Sessions 1 and 3 feature our fun, fire-filled Festival Night. Thousands of people descend to enjoy pin trading, vendors, skills challenges and the appearance of our favorite baseball prodigy, Domingo Ayala. The night will end with a bang with the explosive burning of two 10-foot wooden bats.
As if there isn’t enough excitement at the SlumpBuster, the 2018 Men’s College World Series will also be taking place at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, giving Slumpbuster teams the chance to watch some of the best college athletes in the world compete on the big stage.
Mike Stevens, head coach of the Coppell Cowboys 11u, has been with the Cowboys organization for 10 years and has taken his team to the SlumpBuster every single year.
“Our 11u teams go to Omaha every year. It’s the College World Series trip,” Stevens said. “My older son went three years ago and he’s in a tournament that weekend this year, but he had such a great time at SlumpBuster when he was 11 that he’s forgoing his tournament in Dallas to come watch the 11u Cowboys play in Omaha. It’s kind of a rite of passage for 11u; we go to Cooperstown with our 12’s but our parents say Omaha is much more enjoyable.”
As true Omaha veterans, the Cowboys have learned where to stay and what to do in order to get the most out of their time at the Slumpbuster.
“We’ve learned to stay downtown so it’s easy to go to the Saturday night CWS games and let the kids do the fan experience. Then we obviously go to the SlumpBuster Open Ceremonies. We also do the skills competition and watch the burning of the bats. It’s a trip they’ll always remember,” added Stevens.
Among the vets there are also some newbies, including the Massachusetts Hurricanes 14u team that will be attending Session 3 of the Omaha SlumpBuster. The Hurricanes are traveling from Medfield, Massachusetts with their head coach Mark Nickerson.
“A team in our league, I noticed it on their schedule last year on the website and looked into it. I’ve always wanted to be in Omaha during the College World Series. Selfishly it was an opportunity for me to go watch some CWS games and bring my team there to play as well,” said Nickerson.
With teams flying cross country for this event, an opportunity that those teams take advantage of is the option to play two pre-tournament games. This makes the SlumpBuster a hefty 6-game guarantee, opposed to a 4-game guarantee. The two games count against each team’s innings-pitched limit; however, a win or loss does not count for their tournament record.
“We just figured if we’re gonna travel all the way out there, we might as well play as many games as we can,” added Nickerson. “I manage nine teams. This is the first one of any of our teams to go so if it’s a great thing, which I’m expecting it will be, our other teams will go in the next few years.”
Speaking of next year, early interest is at an all-time high for the 2019 Omaha SlumpBuster. It’s not too early to consider securing your spot in the event. Follow the link below for 2019 dates and jump on the Who's Coming List today by contacting event directors Brandon Hardy or Jason McCoy.
“There’s a lot to keep track of in an event this size, but we are excited about the days ahead and fortunate to have so many passionate baseball families and teams motivated to make this trip,” Hardy said. “With our elite division in Session 1 and our pro-player workout with Iowa Western Community College, the event continues to evolve and offer a terrific summer baseball experience.”
By Bradey King
As of last week, registrations for the Omaha SlumpBuster are up 70 over this time last year – we are steaming toward another year of 500-plus teams at this remarkable event!
Check out Who’s Coming to Session 1 (June 14-17) and 3 (June 21-24):
Each registration includes 20 general admission tickets to a College World Series game at beautiful TD Ameritrade Park. You’ll face unique competition, with nearly 40 states sending teams to this essential youth baseball event. Get your parents and players on board NOW to register while hotel options are still plentiful!
Sessions 1 and 3 also feature Festival Night at the Council Bluffs Field Complex, with our trademark Exploding Bats fireworks show and an appearance from popular YouTube personality Domingo Ayala. Sessions 2 and 4 are smaller in scale, but still get the professional touch offered by Triple Crown Baseball.
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).
Entering its 16th year as a mandatory tournament stop on the schedule, the Omaha SlumpBuster continues to flex its muscle as The World’s Largest Youth Baseball Tournament. Athletes and their families from nearly 40 states, coast to coast, travel to Omaha to celebrate the great game of baseball. Each year, more than 500 teams experience unique competition and the opportunity to attend a College World Series game at TD Ameritrade Stadium and watch the best programs in the NCAA compete for a national title.
Triple Crown offers four sessions throughout the month of June. Sessions 1 and 3 feature our fun, fire-filled Festival Night. Thousands of people descend to enjoy pin trading, vendors, skills challenges and the appearance of our favorite baseball prodigy, Domingo Ayala. The night will end with a bang with the explosive burning of two 10-foot wooden bats.
All 13u and 14u players attending Session 1 of the Omaha SlumpBuster have an opportunity to attend the Pro Player Workout, hosted by the coaching staff at Iowa Western Community College. This national powerhouse JUCO coaching staff and Triple Crown will show you what to expect at a college exposure workout, so you’ll be prepared down the road.
All sessions are 4- or 6-game minimum; the excitement begins June 14th for Session 1. Don’t miss out!
Session 1: June 14-16 (9u-14u)
Session 2: June 18-20 (11u-14u)
Session 3: June 21-24 (10u-14u)
Session 4: June 26-28 (13u, 15u/16u, 17u/18u)
For more details, visit http://www.omahaslumpbuster.com/
At least one team representing north Florida is guaranteed a championship in Omaha.
While Florida State and the University of Florida will battle for a College World Series crown, both the Gators and the Seminoles will be looking to equal the Five Star Tigers of Jacksonville, which knocked off Lids Indiana Bulls in a best-of-3 series on Sunday in Council Bluffs to take home the 11u TCSB Division I title.
Five Star’s day began bright and early on the final day of competition at the 2017 Omaha SlumpBuster. A 9 a.m. start time against an Indiana Bulls team they’d already seen in pool play and in the bracket posed potential trouble.
Even though head coach Josh Baker’s team had only scored three runs through their first two bracket games, suddenly their bats began to take life. The Tigers plated 10 runs when they met the Bulls in the semi-finals, 11 runs in Game 1 and secured the title with a 10-7 victory in Game 2 of the championship series.
“We survived the first couple of days of this tournament relying mostly on our pitching,” said Baker. “The last two days, our bats came alive and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“After playing as many games as we did, our arms were tired and we were down to the bottom end of our bullpen, but our bats carried us to this win.”
Indiana didn’t go down without a fight, however. After falling in Game 1, the Bulls quickly raced out to the early lead, scoring the game’s first run. Five Star answered quickly in the bottom end of the frame off an RBI single from Miles Burris that brought in Kent Jackson to tie the game.
Starting pitcher Connor Thomas gave up a single to start the second inning, but that’s when his catcher, Aiden Lynch, intervened.
“I just try to give the pitchers some real positive encouragement,” said Lynch. “These guys are all my friends so when I go out there, I tell that we got this and not to worry.”
Behind Lynch’s comforting pep talk, Thomas responded with three consecutive strikeouts to end the inning and keep the contest knotted at 1-all.
The Bulls pushed another go-ahead run across in the third inning as a lead-off triple from Indiana came back to bite Five Star, despite forcing two quick outs before Indiana mustered an RBI.
Baker’s team never seemed deterred, going right back to work in the bottom of the third inning. Jackson Roper led off the frame with a triple of his own, allowing Sean Benjamin to bring him home, tying the game a second time.
Five Star wouldn’t stop there.
Chase Fralick, Miles Burris and Aiden Lynch delivered back-to-back-to-back base hits, driving home two more runs and taking their largest lead of the game at 4-2.
“We all practice very hard,” said Lynch. “When it comes to hitting, I think it’s easiest to get ahold of fastballs, so we tried to stay patient to get that perfect pitch we wanted.”
Now with a healthy lead, Thomas charged to the mound with a budding confidence. A strikeout followed by a nifty 6-4-3 double play carried the game into the final two innings, though not before a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth from Dominic DeLoreto stretched the lead out to three.
Two-out walks are never useful, and for Five Star, their two-out walk in the top of the fifth into turned into a four-run barrage for Indiana. When the dust settled, Indiana had reclaimed the lead for the third time Sunday afternooon, 6-5.
Leave it to the scrappy group from Jacksonville to erase what could have been a series-changing inning. In the blink of an eye, two walks and a single loaded the bases. When Miles Burris got pelted in the arm, the game fell tied once again. With momentum on their side, Aiden Lynch, Isaac Newman, Brooks Baker and Jace Glisson all dialed up RBI hits, catapulting Five Star on top, 10-6.
In the final frame, Indiana wanted to make sure they left everything on the field. Three of the first four batters all reached safely, loading the bases. Again Lynch delivered a pep talk to Jackson Roper, who had come on to finish the game off.
A run slid by as the Tigers failed to squeeze sequential fly balls. Finally, out came Baker.
“When I came out to the mound, there were two outs and the bases loaded,” explained Baker. “I just told them to relax and play this game like they have since they were three years old.”
Almost immediately, Roper forced a pop up to Newman at first base and the championship was finally in the hands of Five Star.
“Coach said we could dogpile if we won,” said Lynch. “It was just such a great feeling to actually do it when it happened.”
The Tiger’s victory capped a grueling five-day stretch, where they faced eight opponents, finishing with a record of 7-0-1, tying to who else but the Indiana Bulls.
“This win just shows us that this team is where I thought we were,” said Baker. “We don’t have any one stud, we just have a group of kids who just play and force you to beat them. It feels amazing to walk away as champions in such a great tournament.”