Travel squads ready for NYBC tournament

Some of the best 12U travel baseball teams in the country will gather in Yaphank, N.Y., for the first round of the National Youth Baseball Championships on Friday.

Pool play for the NYBC begins Friday at Baseball Heaven on Long Island, where teams will compete over four days for the last two automatic bids to the main NYBC tournament the following week.

All teams participating in the NYBC first round will play two games in pool play, after which all teams will be reseeded and move on to a single-elimination tournament. The two winners will qualify for the NYBC.

Several first round games will be simulcast online at MLB.com and broadcast live by CBS Sports Network.

The selection process for the NYBC began on April 1, when teams all over the country began competing in tournaments. If a tournament was classified as having a strong field by the NYBC selection committee, its winner was invited to the 16-team main NYBC event, which runs from Aug. 7-11, after the first round is completed.

Fourteen of the 16 slots were filled by these selections, with the final two going to the first round winners. The first round field is composed of lower-ranked teams invited by the selection committee to compete for the last two openings.

"The NYBC has established itself as the top youth baseball event of the year," Frank Zitaglio, general manager at Baseball Heaven, told BaseballYouth.com.

The teams competing in the NYBC first round are: the East Coast Jays, Team Baseball Heaven, the Southshoremen, the Long Island Junior Ducks Xpress, Hank's Yanks, the Long Island Baymen Prospects, Diamond Jacks Gold, the Eastern Massachusetts All-Stars, Team Beast, Gators Baseball Club, Diamond Jacks Super 12 and the Long Island Titans.

David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.