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Super 8 baseball gets two-year tryout

The MIAA’s tournament management committee voted, 7-6, Monday in favor of starting a Super 8 baseball tournament in 2014.

The event will begin as a two-year pilot before the MIAA decides if the tournament would become permanent.

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The top eight teams in the state, regardless of division or section, will be selected by an 11-person committee to play in the double-elimination tournament.

“This is a very positive step for the sport of baseball,” said longtime Walpole coach Bill Tompkins. “This gives emphasis to quality teams and gives players a chance to prove their worth to college programs on a bigger stage.”

Lincoln-Sudbury coach Kirk Fredericks helped advocate the proposal and said a lot of people, including the tournament management committee and coaches across the state, deserve credit for making it happen.

“I’m very happy that they are willing to give this pilot program a shot,” Fredericks said. “Sometimes people and committees are afraid of change so credit to them for going with this two- year pilot. It is a proposal that is going to create excitement. I’m looking forward to seeing how it is run and it is great for baseball in Massachusetts.”

The tournament will consist of 14 or 15 games. The winners’ and losers’ bracket champions would meet in the title game, with the team from the losers’ bracket needing to win twice to capture the title.

Along with giving eight teams a chance to play in the Division 1A tournament, this new pilot program will also allow eight more teams to play in the sectional tournament.

Tompkins also said it could affect the regular season as teams may choose to schedule tougher nonconference opponents to boost their hopes of receiving a tournament berth.

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