On Thursday, the Livermore Stampede kicks off in Livermore at Ernie Rodrigues Field at Robertson Park. I’ve talked a ton of local coaches in the last few days and they all seem to say the same thing: we’ll learn a lot about our team this weekend. I agree with most of them but for some, we know a good deal already.
To me, this will be a chance for the best teams in the area to prove themselves against some of the best teams in the state. Sheldon-Sacramento has spent much of the year ranked No. 3 in the country by various publications and even after a 1-0 loss to a team from Florida, the general consensus is Sheldon is still the team to beat at this year’s Stampede.
Another big time team coming to town is Notre Dame-Belmont and it should have some serious motivation after losing an extra inning game against Foothill last week. The Falcons will be in the house as well and they’re always dangerous.
The big thing I’ll be looking for this week is how the top teams like Freedom and Granada stack up in such a big-time tournament. Both of those teams, College Park, Deer Valley, Castro Valley and Foothill have a clear goal: survive pool play. If they make it to Saturday’s semifinals, anything is possible.
Also, look for a spoiler to emerge. Could it be Livermore? Maybe Piedmont? We’ll find out. Anyway, get out to Livermore on Thursday for some softball. I’ll be there to take in a few games. Also, keep your eye out for the Geeks this week as we’ll preview the tournament.