Busy weekend of youth baseball in FD

Rogers Sports Complex will serve as the site of the Iowa vs. Minnesota Battle of the Borders USSSA Baseball Tournament this weekend.

Forty teams from throughout the two states will compete in the first annual event, which features five different Major/AAA age groups: 10U, 11U 12U, 13U and 14U.

“We’re expecting a big crowd of fans and teams from both Iowa and Minnesota,” Fort Dodge Baseball Association president Nick Pederson said. “It should be nice weather and a great atmosphere for some baseball.”

Each age division includes four teams from both Iowa and Minnesota. Every team will play two games today and two games Sunday in the round-robin format.

Pool play begins at 10 a.m. this morning. Representing Fort Dodge in the field are the Legends (10U), Fort Dodge Sluggers (11U), Yellow Jackets (12U) and Young Guns (13U).

“This tournament is a little different from others in that teams from each state will be rooting for each other instead of kind of just out for themselves,” said USSSA state director Bob Egr. “I want to give a special thanks to the city of Fort Dodge, especially (FDBA board member) Matt Wagner. They have an awesome facility, and we’re looking forward to it.”

All age groups will have a state champion. The first state to win nine games wins the age group. A Traveling Border of the Battles Trophy will be awarded to the state that wins the most age groups.

“We’re hoping this tournament becomes a staple,” Pederson said. “There really isn’t a better facility around in the northern part of Iowa. (FDBA board member) Steve Springer and Matt Wagner have been the driving force of getting it here. After trying for a minimum of three of four years, their persistence finally paid off.”

Pederson knows this weekend’s tournament will also provide an economic boost for the community.

“We already had four Minnesota teams come up early (last night) and have two scrimmages at Patterson Field,” said Pederson. “I know those four teams are actually staying Friday and Saturday, which will keep our restaurants and hotels busy.

“We have a lot of volunteers that’ll be helping us out. I just ask for Fort Dodge to come out and support us.”

Forecasts for Saturday and Sunday are calling for sunny skies with high temperatures in the 70s.