Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Saladino Baseball Tournament returns to spring break schedule

Newsome’s Tyler Packanick throws a runner out during last year’s Saladino Baseball Tournament final. The 2011 tournament was moved from the spring break schedule it had used for 30 years.

BRYAN THOMAS | Times (2011)

Newsome’s Tyler Packanick throws a runner out during last year’s Saladino Baseball Tournament final. The 2011 tournament was moved from the spring break schedule it had used for 30 years.

TAMPA — Last year's installment of the Saladino Baseball Tournament featured something never seen before in the prestigious event's 31-year history — a change in scheduling.

This time around, the tournament has returned to its familiar spring break format.

Tony Saladino's reaction?

"Whew," he said. "We all just wiped our brows when we heard."

With high schoolers' spring break pushed back later than usual last year, the Saladino Tournament was forced to rearrange its schedule. Normally held at four sites over the course of spring break, last year's tournament featured a split schedule with two of the pool games played early in the season.

"It was tough because we had more sites spread out over two separate times with a big void in the middle," Saladino said. "It was different but this year we're back to normal."

He said the split schedule interrupted "the flow" of the tournament, which in previous years has seen the likes of future Major League Baseball stars Dwight Gooden, Tino Martinez and Gary Sheffield grace its fields.

"It all ended well, but it was tough not being one solid week," Saladino said. "We're happy to have it back like it used to be."

Brandon coach Matt Stallbaumer, whose field will host the final brackets and again serve as tournament headquarters, said some coaches didn't like last year's format.

"I know initially some coaches were frustrated but it had to be done because of the way the (school) district set up spring break," he said. "So in that way, I think people are looking forward to it returning to how it's always been. You really look forward to it being in the middle of the season with half your district games before and half after."

Another change from last year is how the pools will be set up. Tournament officials seeded teams to avoid lumping too many good teams in one pool and made sure district opponents were not in the same pool.

"Avoiding district teams in pool play is big, and I think it's a much better format this way," Stallbaumer said. "We've got the trailers set up at the field already, and we're looking forward to it."

With all back to normal, Saladino and his wife, Bertha, are looking forward to again hosting what has become one of the premier high school baseball tournaments in the country. Saladino said Bertha, who has been dealing with health issues the past two years, is especially looking forward to this year's tournament.

"It's going to be a big booster shot for her because she loves being visible and being with people," he said. "It's therapy for both of us."

Brandon Wright can be reached at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

Saladino Baseball Tournament returns to spring break schedule 02/25/12 [Last modified: Saturday, February 25, 2012 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The 10 silliest names for college football bowl games

    College

    The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl hadn't even been officially announced when SBNation called it the silliest bowl name ever. Ten others worthy of consideration:

    Logo for the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. [MATT BAKER | Times]
  2. Austin Pruitt faces the Blue Jays tonight at the Trop.
  3. USF football and the undefeated degree of difficulty

    College

    TAMPA — In the wake of the latest solar eclipse, USF fans eagerly await the next astronomical phenomenon.

    USF head coach Charlie Strong leads his team during practice last month in Tampa.
  4. Nature Coast puts unbeaten streak on the line vs. IMG White

    Footballpreps

    BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast currently rides a 22-game regular-season win streak, but first-year football coach Cory Johns was not around for any of those wins. Neither was most of his coaching staff. This is an entirely new campaign with new obstacles ahead.

    Nature Coast offensive lineman Louis Miele (66) blocks a Sunlake defensive player during the Clash 4 Clayton football scrimmage and fundraiser Aug. 12 at Springstead High School.
  5. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before tonight’s big rivalry game against Newsome.