Justin Richards baseball tournament starts Thursday

Published: Friday, June 6, 2014 at 06:05 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The Crestview High School gray baseball team takes on Baker next week during the 19th Annual Justin Richards Scholarship Tournament.

Admission to the tourney — which starts 9 a.m. Thursday  and concludes with the 7 p.m. championship game Saturday at the Crestview High School baseball complex — is $5 a person each day.

This year’s tournament — the longest continuously running high school baseball tournament in Okaloosa County — features teams from Baker, Choctawhatchee, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport and Northview, along with the Red and Gray teams from host Crestview.

 “There are not a lot of tournaments out there in general, but this one has been around a while,” Bulldog Coach Tim Gillis said. “We get all the county schools that participate every year. Everybody loves the tournament and what it stands for.

The tournament's proceeds fund a scholarship honoring Justin Richards, a former Bulldog baseball player who died in a car accident his senior year on the day he signed a baseball scholarship.

Baker was a surprise winner of last year’s tournament and Gillis is anxious to reclaim the championship trophy for the home team.

“I thought Baker played great last year and they deserved to win that tournament,” he said. We had a great run ... We had nine games with all of our players.

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