A quarter century of excellence.
A quarter century of home runs, diamond gems, hot dogs and firecrackers.
That's right, it's time for Lakeridge's 25th annual Firecracker Classic baseball tournament.
This year's Firecracker Classic tournament opens on Thursday, June 27, and continues through Sunday, June 30, at Abramson Field at Lakeridge High School, 1235 Overlook Drive.
For the Pacers — they're coming off a third-place finish in the 2019 Three Rivers League race and a Class 6A state quarterfinal appearance — the chance to play together in the lead-up to the July 4th holiday could not be better.
"The players enjoy playing competitive games on a well-kept natural grass field," said tournament organizer Miles Lewis. "(And) by switching things up and grinding through four days, it gives the kids a feel for competitive baseball after high school."
This year, the Firecracker Classic — a wood bat event — will feature seven teams that will play 15 games over the tournament's four days, with the tournament's fifth-place game set for 12:30 p.m. June 30, the third-place game for 3:30 p.m. June 30, and the tournament championship for 6:30 p.m. June 30.
The tournament serves as a fundraiser for the Lakeridge baseball program and is run by a plethora of volunteers including alumni, upcoming youth parents/players, Lakeridge students, and program coaches and parents.
"It gives our baseball community the opportunity to work collectively for Pacer Baseball … helping to make this experience good for everyone," Lewis said. "It's four straight days of hard work, but it gives the kids the ability to take ownership of their field, facilities, and provide a fun atmosphere for all."
To see the complete tournament bracket, click here.
In addition to the Pacers, participating teams include: Grant, Sunset, Jesuit, Mt. Hood, West Linn and Boise, Idaho.
"By making this a wood bat only tournament, it definitely levels the playing field and forces many of these kids to go back to the basics when they play the game," Lewis said. "There might not be a glamorous number of hits, but the tournament will emphasize the importance of pitching, fielding and playing small ball on offense."
First-round match-ups in June 27 pool play action include the following games: Grant vs. Sunset, 9:30 a.m.; Jesuit vs. Mt. Hood, 12:30 p.m.; West Linn vs. Boise, 3:30 p.m.; and West Linn vs. Lakeridge, 6:30 p.m.
On June 28, the pool play lineup includes: Mt. Hood vs Boise, 9:30 a.m.; Jesuit vs. West Linn, 12:30 p.m.; Jesuit vs. Grant, 3:30 p.m.; and Sunset vs. Lakeridge. 6:30 p.m.
Pool play then concludes on June 20 with the following contests: Mt. Hood vs. West Linn, 9:30 a.m.; Mt. Hood vs. Sunset, 12:30 p.m.; Boise vs. Jesuit, 3:30 p.m.; Grant vs. Lakeridge, 6:30 p.m.
The tournament's top six teams will then be seeded for championship play on June 30, with the fifth-place game set for 12:30 p.m., the third-place game for 3:30 p.m., and the championship game for 6:30 p.m.
Ticket prices are: $40 for a four-day family pass; $20 for a four-day adult pass; $16 for a four-day student/senior pass; $6 for a single day adult pass; and $5 for a single day student/seniors pass.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.