Area travel teams play in Chris and Rusty Memorial Tournament

Updated: May. 30, 2021 at 9:28 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Chipley High School played host to the Chris and Rusty Memorial Tournament over the weekend.

The tournament is named after the Hill family that was big supporters of the North Florida Black Sox, a summer league team made up of college baseball players and the hosts of the tournament.

Ten teams in all came out to compete: three from the North Florida Black Sox, four from Next Level Baseball, one from Orlando, and two from Troy, Alabama.

Corey Chizmar, with the North Florida Black Sox, who also coordinated the event, knows how crucial this tournament is to kick off the summer season.

“Really, what we do this weekend is evaluate our talent, see what we’ve got, see what our pitchers can do, see how we move around the teams every weekend. It’s just a great venue to play baseball, especially to kick off the summer.”

The tournament also brought in quite the crowd.

“Last year, none of the high schools got to play,” said Chizmar. “Most of the colleges got about twelve to fifteen games in. Last year, I remember on Saturday, for the Memorial Day tournament, I think Andy {Compton} said we had almost 600 people here, on a Saturday. This year, it’s kind of dropped off, but with the 19U program, and most of my kids in college, most of their parents don’t come out. When you have 17U, they travel pretty well. I bet, over the two days, we have close to 600 people.”

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