Tournament Play Returns to Hancock County

Bay St. Louis (WLOX) -- Fourteen teams from Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas are competing to take home the top prize in tournament play.

"I'm looking forward to playing this game.  I've been waiting all day," says Chase Rhodes, Bay St. Louis Waves.

After nearly two years, the wait is finally over for Hancock County as it welcomed about 200 families back for the tournament. Organizers say it's a chance for the county to score a few runs when it comes to its local economy.

"We provided each player with a hospitality bag. In the bags, we included local information about activities, things about our business and some of the great things we offer here in Hancock County and here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," says Rhonda Rhodes, Hancock County Chamber of Commerce.

Jodie Heslep came to see her son play with the Sylvan Hill Twisters out of Arkansas.

"We were glad to come back after the hurricane and see how things have changed and see what's still here," says Heslep.

Some of the teams live within 50 to 100 miles of the county making them ideal repeat guests.

"The idea is if they see what we have to offer, and they're within a couple of hours away. We would be a great weekend trip," says Rhodes.

Despite the lack of lodging, organizers came up with a plan they hope will work the next time teams stop through.

"We were very fortunate that we have some short term condo rentals in Diamondhead."

Organizers also worked with hotels in Harrison County and other lodging options within 30 miles of Hancock County.

After the final inning is played, organizers hope players on the baseball diamond and players in the business community score it big.

Tournament play will wrap up next Wednesday with a championship game.