ENID, Okla. — Less than a month after hosting the top NJCAA Division II baseball teams in the country, downtown Enid will play host to another talent-filled tournament.
The 2019 Connie Mack South Plains Regional Qualifier, which begins today, returns to David Allen Memorial Ballpark with a 15-team tournament field, including local clubs like the Enid Plainsmen and the Enid Majors.
"Everyone's really excited to play at home and bring this caliber of talent into Enid," Enid Majors head coach Chris Jensen said. "It's pretty special to play those guys this week."
Jensen credited tournament director Shannon Enfield for bringing in the numerous teams from not only Oklahoma, but Colorado and Texas, too. With plenty of potential NCAA Division I talent expected to participate, Jensen believes more college coaches and professional scouts will be in attendance than year's past.
"That's a win-win for everybody," he said.
Participating teams in this week’s regional qualifier are divided into three five-team pools.
Pool A contains Batter’s Box Navy (Colo.), Dallas Mustangs (Texas), MVP Blue (Okla.), Oklahoma Drillers AAA, and Shockers Red (Okla.).
The Enid Plainsmen will compete in Pool B with Catalyst Cardinals (Colo.), Oklahoma Mudcats, Sandlot Ballard (Okla.) and Shockers Black (Okla.).
Featured in Pool C, the Majors are grouped with Sandlot Painter (Okla.), Batter’s Box White (Colo.), MVP Red (Okla.), and Oklahoma Expos.
The five-day tournament will split games between David Allen and Northern Oklahoma College Enid's Failing Field. From Thursday to Saturday, six games will be played at David Allen while three games will be played at Failing Field. The Majors and Plainsmen will play all of their games at David Allen.
The Plainsmen open their competition against the Oklahoma Mudcats Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Majors are scheduled to play the Oklahoma Expos at 8 p.m.
The Majors will be featured in the 8:15 p.m. nightcap for their three remaining pool-play games during the week.
At the conclusion of pool play, the team with the best record in each advances to Sunday's bracket competition. A wild-card team with the next best record will also move on.
In the case of a tie at the end of pool play, tie-breaker factors will be used to determine which team finishes ahead of the other. The factors used are as follows starting with head-to-head result, fewest runs allowed, most runs scored and lastly run differential.
On Sunday, Pool A winner the wild-card team at noon, followed by a matchup between Pool B and Pool C winners. The two winning teams will then play for the regional qualifier championship at 5 p.m. All Sunday games are set to be played at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
As the host team, the Majors have an automatic berth to the South Plains Regional, which is scheduled for July 17-21 in Enid.
The Majors' first opponent, the Expos, won the qualifier tournament in 2017 and advanced to last year's championship game before losing to Colorado Khaos, 7-0.
The Khaos are not in this year's tournament field.
Jensen expects the Expos to be one of the top teams again, but also believes the Dallas Mustangs U-17 could be a tough opponent with a roster full of Division I talent.
Enid native and former Oklahoma Sooner Tyson Seng is an assistant coach for the MVP Blue and MVP Red squads.
"It's going to be pretty tough," Jensen said of the competition.
The Majors are hitting nearly .360 collectively this summer, and have several pitchers that can hold opponents in check. Jensen said he's divided up the pitching duties, throwing two or three guys every game to see which ones will perform best in key moments.
Enid native and NOC Enid commit Ambren Voitik is scheduled to start on the mound for the Majors Wednesday with Tuttle native Cody Carlton starting Thursday.
KCRC (AM 1390) will broadcast all of the Majors' games in the tournament.