Baseball: Ewell Jackson tourney features top squads
The Ewell Jackson Memorial baseball tournament annually draws many of the top teams in the Houston area. This year it features four of the eight regional quarterfinalists from last year's Class 5A playoffs.
Bellaire is the defending tournament champion. It lost to Memorial in the third round of the playoffs last year, and Memorial fell to Clements, which represented Region III at the state tournament.
The Cardinals defeated the Rangers in the Ewell Jackson final last year.
All the Fort Bend schools are back in the tourney field this season, along with top private-school clubs St. Thomas, St. John's and St. Pius, as well as Stratford and Humble.
ABOUT THE GAME
• What: 52nd Annual Ewell Jackson Memorial Baseball Tournament
• When: Thursday, March 3 through Saturday, March 5
• Where: The 32-team tournament plays out at several locations across the area, including the fields at Butler, Delmar, Hightower, Elkins, St. Thomas and St. Pius.
• What's at stake: The championship of the long-running Ewell Jackson tournament, which features many of the top clubs in the Houston area. Of the 10 Fort Bend ISD teams participating, Clements came the closest to claiming the crown last season, falling to Bellaire in the championship game.
• Teams: Bellaire, Willowridge, Kempner, Nimitz, Humble, Dekaney, Madison, Dulles, St. Thomas, Austin, Clements, MacArthur, Travis, Spring Woods, Furr, Waltrip, Milby, Jones, Fort Bend Austin, Aldine, St. Pius, Fort Bend Marshall, Cypress Ranch, Bush, Elkins, Carnegie, Episcopal, Sam Houston, Hightower, Westbury, Stratford and St. John's.
• Day 1: With so many games going on at several different locations, it's nearly impossible to see it all. Here are a few must-see matchups on Thursday, the first day of the tournament: Bellaire vs. Willowridge, 4 p.m. at Butler; Clements vs. MacArthur, 4:30 p.m. at St. Thomas; Kempner vs. Nimitz, 6:30 p.m. at Butler; Humble vs. Dekaney, 6:30 p.m. at Dulles; and Hightower vs. Westbury, 4 p.m. at Hightower.
• Players to watch: Clements DH/P G.R. Hinsley, Kempner OF/1B Dominic Taccolini, Fort Bend Austin P/3B Taylor Cobb, Travis 1B Carter Wall, Bellaire P Conner Franklin, St. Thomas IF Patrick Leonard, Westbury P/SS Jeff Davidoff, Humble OF Xavier Maxwell
• Around the diamond: Clements returned to the regional finals for the first time since 2003 last year. It was the team's fourth overall trip that deep in the postseason. The Rangers defeated Memorial 7-5 and 4-2 to earn their first appearance at the state tournament since 1997, but lost 4-3 in the state semis to eventual state champion Corpus Christi Carroll. … Humble picked up a 4-3 win over Pasadena at its tournament last week.
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