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Youth baseball tournament hits a home run for Grand Strand economy

Baseball is taking over the Grand Strand for the next three weeks.

More than 170 teams are in the area for the annual Youth Baseball Nationals tournament.

The Grand Park at the Market Common is now packed with teams from all over the country competing for the national title.

"The pressure is there, because one you want to make sure the kids have a good experience and we represent our city well," said Coach Franklin Perez of the Titans from Georgia.

There are a variety of cities represented for the next three weeks.

Along with the players in town, there are family members as well.

Jen Sowinski is from Maryland and cheered on her twin 15-year-old boys.

She said she never misses a game.

Sowinski could barely pull her eyes away from the field during her interview.

She had to make sure the player at bat drove in a run to tie the game.

"Ok we scored. We're good," said Sowinski.

She also has to motivate her boys and the rest of the team.

She said someone has to push them to strive for their best.

"You just have to support them no matter what, because if you're positive they'll be positive and everybody will be positive and you'll win," she said.

Sowinski along with other fans battles the heat to root on their players, but fans and teams alike say having a beach nearby is a nice bonus.

Most people make a family vacation out of the tournament.

"This is an opportunity to scope it out and check out Myrtle Beach and what it's all about," said Perez.

For some families this is the first time visiting the Grand Strand, and hopefully it won't be the last.

"On a week that we need vacation we can come here because we know the place, we know the hotels, we know the restaurants," said Perez. "So I think for the economy stand point it's a boost because you have 11 families per team coming to hotels, stores, restaurants, stuff like that."

Tournament organizers said when teams step off the field they're encouraged to check out the local attractions in Myrtle Beach.

They even receive discounted or free admission to some locations.

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