17th Annual Wiregrass Cardinals Gary Bernath Invitational

Local Sports

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — It’s the 17th year of the Wiregrass Cardinals Gary Bernath Invitational.

Eleven teams from all over the Southeast are in the Wiregrass competing.

Tournament Director Sammy Frichter believes it’s an important event for summer ball teams.

“They need to play so they can get ready for college baseball or their senior or junior year in high school,” Frichter said. “It’s very important that they play in the summertime and they get the reps that they need.”

Cardinals players say this is one of their favorite tournaments.

“It’s always consistent,” Cardinals 16U player Gage Rhodes said. “There’s always good competition in this tournament. He always brings in good teams.”

Team members also say being on the Cardinals roster has taught them a lot.

“I think it has improved my game because Coach Frichter is one of the best coaches in this part of the country and a lot of people don’t know half of what he knows,” Cardinals 16U player Whit Shehee said.

This year’s tournament has a 14-15 age division and a 16-19 age division.

A team dropped out at the last minute so there won’t be a championship game, instead this weekend is just about improving on the diamond.

“We’re going to let them play and have free substitution,” Frichter said. “Open air baseball, let all the kids play.”

Games are played at Pitman field and Northcutt field in Dothan.

The tournament runs Friday through Sunday.

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