Two days of the Buckeye Cable Sports Network’s NABF College World Series are to be played at the City of Oregon’s John Ousky Field, Aug. 1-2.
It is expected that up to 10 pool play games, five each day, will be played from morning until after nightfall at Ousky, the home field for Clay High School, located at the William P. Coontz Recreation Complex on Seaman Road, although the schedule could be modified for rain and tournament management.
On Aug. 3-4, the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship head to the field turf at Mercy Field, home of Central Catholic High School and Lourdes College teams.
At least two teams with local players, the Toledo Hawks and Genoa Rampage, have a chance to qualify representing the host organization, the Toledo Amateur Baseball Federation.
A Hawks’ or Rampage Fed championship or runner-up finish will put either team in the 20-team College World Series. The Hawks play in two leagues, the Toledo Amateur Federation adult league and the Tri-State Baseball League.
The 47-game wood bat tournament showcases college players from throughout the country. Nearly all of the players are on NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA rosters in the spring before joining summer college teams. To win the NABF championship, a team has to play seven nine-inning games over four days.
This is the ninth year the Toledo metropolitan area has hosted this event, missing only one year since 2004.
From 2004-06, the CWS was hosted by the now-defunct Erie Shores Collegiate League, which the Oregon-based Maumee Bay Buccaneers (1999-2004) competed in.
In 2007, the CWS was held along Chesapeake Bay in Cecil County, Maryland, but returned to the Toledo area the following year because of an outcry from NABF membership. The Ohio Monarchs Gold, now the Toledo Hawks, won the CWS title in 2008 and 2010.
In 2008, the Monarchs defeated the Long Island Astros, 4-3, in a televised championship at Ned Skeldon Stadium.
In 2010, the Monarchs returned to win it, routing the Alton Indians (St. Louis Metro Collegiate League) 13-5 in another televised final at Skeldon. That year, Clay graduate Drew Kuns (Bowling Green State University) was named World Series MVP after batting .509 overall and getting four hits and four RBIs in the championship game.
The first year it was in Toledo, 2004, now-St. Louis Cardinal David Freese played in the Toledo-hosted NABF CWS and was on the all-tournament team. Freese, who grew up in St. Louis, was playing for a team representing the St. Louis Metro Collegiate League.
In 2011, Freese in a seven-game series with Philadelphia led the Cardinals to a World Series title. He was named the World Series MVP, became the sixth player to win the LCS and World Series MVP awards in the same year, and also won the Babe Ruth Award as the postseason MVP.
Local youth who want to be batboys or teenagers and adults who wish to be summer interns, sports information, public address announcers, and other personnel are still needed for preparing the media guide, keeping statistics, fundraising, and other roles in this year’s World Series.