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Belle Vernon baseball heading south again

| Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

For the fourth consecutive season, Belle Vernon Area's baseball team is taking a southern trip.

This year BVA coach Dan Palm had to be a little creative because the journey to South Carolina is coming during the section season.

“I had to reschedule two section games for this trip, but it was something I had to do,” Palm said. “This trip is too good to pass up.”

Palm is taking his Leps to Columbia, S.C., to play in the prestigious Forest Acres Classic. The ninth annual event attracts four of the top teams in South Carolina, as well as four invited talented teams from outside the state.

The trip is from April 1-6, and BVA will play four games in South Carolina before coming home.

“This is one of the successful southern tournaments for high school baseball,” said Palm, who guided BVA to a 19-5 record and a runner-up finish in the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs last season. “It is hosted by A.C. Flora, which is the defending Class AAA South Carolina state champion.

“I'm not sure we can compete with these teams, but we're sure as heck going to try.”

The brackets for the tournament feature South Carolina teams White Knoll, Riverside (Greer), Sumter and A.C. Flora. The invited teams from outside the state are Westminster Christian from Miami, Fla., West Carteret from Moorehead City, N.C., Great Bridge from Chesapeake, Va., and BVA.

“The teams from outside the state play each other in one bracket and the South Carolina teams play each other in the other bracket for three days. On the fourth day, the top teams in each bracket play for first, the next best teams play each other and so on,” Palm said.

“I've been told it is an honor to get invited to this tournament and they are paying a lot of our costs.”

For a schedule of events or to follow the tournament action live on Gamechanger visit www.acflorabaseball.com.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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