Ever since the Steve Georgiadis Memorial Tournament — named after a former Seminole baseball player who died in 1990 after complications from shoulder surgery while a sophomore at the University of Florida — started in 1993, it has competed against the longer running Dunedin Spring Tournament.
That's true again this year, but things are a little different. Instead of an eight-team field, there are 10 teams this season. Because of the larger field, the tournament will be played round-robin style. Teams earn 10 points for a win as well as points for runs allowed, 10 going to the team that allows the fewest.
After Thursday's games, teams are reseeded and there will be five games March 28, culminating with the final at 7 p.m.
Northeast, which has hosted a tournament the past few seasons, decided to travel to South Carolina over spring break. That left several local teams that normally play in that tournament looking for games.
"Largo and Clearwater wanted to play, and I didn't want to say no to the local teams," Seminole coach Jeff Pincus said. "Ten teams isn't ideal, but we'll make it work. Everyone is guaranteed four games, and I think they'll be some good competition."
Of the local teams, St. Petersburg comes in with the most momentum. The Green Devils (9-5) beat Palm Harbor University and Pinellas Park this week. And they are the defending Georgiadis champions.
"We've got to come back and defend our title," St. Petersburg coach Travis Phelps said. "We're starting to come around. We're playing better baseball. The hits are starting to come and I think we're gaining some confidence."
Jacksonville Arlington Country Day returns to the area for a second time this season. It played in the Lee Byers Invitational at East Lake to start the season. The Apaches were a late replacement for East River.
Pembroke Pines Charter is 9-2 and may be a team to watch. Montevallo (Ala.) is the lone out-of-state team.
Host Seminole (7-8) lost nine seniors from last year's team, but it did beat Tarpon Springs 8-2 before the tournament.