The Union County Joint Recreation District Complex on County Home Road is hosting Buckeye Elite baseball tournament games on its turf fields this week. The above picture was taken during a 15U contest on Thursday between Demand Command Toledo and Tigers Elite from Dublin. (Journal-Tribune photo by Kevin Behrens)
A late pinch-hit has turned into a grand slam homer for the city of Marysville.
“I was approached by Buckeye Elite Baseball on Monday to see if one of our turf fields (at the Union County Joint Recreation District Complex) could be used for their tournament this week,” said Dave Raymond.
Raymond is a member of the Joint Recreation board of directors.
Local officials were able to accommodate the request.
After seeing and using the local turf setup, Buckeye Elite officials want to make the Joint Rec facility one of their permanent venues.
The fourth-annual Buckeye Elite tournament attracted 247 teams for athletes ages 14-17 from across several Midwestern States.
A total of 52 facilities in central Ohio have been utilized this week for the tournament that is scheduled to conclude Saturday.
“Most of the facilities being used are at central Ohio high schools because of the bigger fields,” said Raymond.
Marysville High School was one of the locations for tournament games.
The varsity and JV field were not available due to weather.
“Buckeye Elite officials called to see if they could use one of our turf fields,” said Raymond.
“The rain that came Thursday (opening day) made the high school diamonds unplayable,” he said. “They used another of our turf fields instead of the high school.”
Raymond said the ability for the Joint Rec Complex to host Elite games is the result of the financial committment made by the city of Marysville.
“We have four artificial turf fields and the city invested $250,000 per field,” he said. “That’s one million dollars the city spent for the benefit of the community.
s“It’s amazing what the city has invested for this type of facility and what it will do for the community in the future.”
Raymond said Buckeye Elite officials told him they will be returning for future tournaments.
“They told me they want to come back from here on out,” he said.
The Buckeye Elite tournament is always held the first weekend after the Fourth of July.
“They want to use our fields for 15 and under teams going forward,” said Raymond.
“That’s great for not only us, but for the community from a hotel and restaurant standpoint.
“The fences at our complex are 300 feet,” he said. “The older teams will have to play on high school diamonds due to the longer outfield fences.”
The Joint Rec diamonds were primarily used during day-time hours this week for the tournament.
That included a College Showcase on Thursday.
College coaches were able to scout future talent during the tournament.
“There’s not much going on during the day, so our fields were available to Buckeye Elite,” said Raymond.