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Perfect Game tourney comes to North Fort Myers

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Jun 1, 2021

Every Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of baseball teams from across the nation come to Southwest Florida for a tournament to determine the best high-school level travel teams.

Perfect Game, the largest scouting organization for not only baseball, but any sport, held a huge tournament this past weekend, and among the venues was the North Fort Myers Community Park.

Games were played at the big field all weekend with teams between 14U and 18U. All the games had the same purpose, to show off the abilities of the athletes to professional and college scouts.

Anthony Lopez, who ran the tournament at the field, said Perfect Game is a scouting tournament where teams come from different states to play. The quality is higher than typical high school ball.

“It’s very competitive and it’s going on in Lee and Collier counties. We’ll have at least 100 teams in five age groups, with four games played here today,” Lopez said. “Everything is tracked by stats. If a college scout comes, they can see what a player did and keep track of them.”

“These tournaments are a way for the kids to show what they’ve got. Getting them to the next level and building them up to succeed later in high school,” said Justin Neo, coach of the 15U Aces of Broward County, a program that had five teams in the weekend’s tournament consisting of the best high school kids in the area.

Neo said his team came out a little slow, mostly because it had to play with an 8 a.m. start time. The slower start didn’t last long, however, as the Aces exploded offensively and won 6-2.

For the team that lost, the Texas Rangers out of Miami, it was back to the drawing board, even though it played well.

That team’s coach Alexeis Bell, a former pro, said these tournaments are great for the kids.

“These games help them stay focused and do the job every game,” Bell said. “When you go out to play, you go out with the attitude of winning, and sometimes that doesn’t happen. When you play early, you don’t usually perform as well early on.”