The Best Outside of Omaha - Celebrating the History of the Karbach Round Rock and Frisco Classic
By Matt Reynolds
College Baseball is one of America’s most prestigious pastimes. Every individual that attends a university has a connection to their teams for life and will treat their games like life or death. There are few things more electric than a college baseball tournament, and Peak Events aims to change the tournament landscape for years to come.
Today marks ten years since Peak Sports MGMT officially went into business. Originally, the company partnered with a few schools and hoped to one day put on successful, premier national showcase events.
Entering 2023, Peak Events, the event management sister company of Peak Sports MGMT, prepares to host the seventh annual Frisco College Baseball Classic and fourth annual Karbach Round Rock Classic. Fortunate enough to have some of the best Division I baseball programs in the country at these tournaments, the tournaments have earned the moniker of being the #BestOutsideofOmaha.
“College baseball is my passion,” said Peak Sports MGMT CEO and President Ryan Holloway.
Acquiring new partner schools was what would help the company gain traction, but wanting to create and host college baseball tournaments was one of Holloway’s main goals back in 2012.
“[Dallas & Frisco] are a hotbed for high school baseball, but there’s a void of college baseball and you got some crazy fan bases. They’ll go out with their fellow fans to go see a game in person,” said Holloway.
Peak signed a contract to host their first-ever classic tournament, creating the Frisco Classic in 2017. They came up with an agreement to host the event at Riders Field, the Frisco RoughRiders’ ballpark. Home of the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, the tournament was set to be very competitive, with four of the top college baseball programs coming to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Since the college baseball season is long and strenuous, it is important for the Classics to be a great experience for everyone involved, yet have the feel of a business trip for the programs.
“We want to roll out the figurative red carpets for these teams and want their experience to be second to none,” Holloway said. “It’s finding that balance, making it a spectacle for them yet they understand that they’re there to get a job done and we make that job easier”.
With this mentality, the first tournament was a smashing success. The Peak Events staff received rave reviews from coaches, fans, and locals alike for their professionalism and the electric atmosphere the tournament created.
“Details matter on having a positive experience for the fans, student-athletes, and coaches,” said Holloway. “For us, it’s a ton of work and we’re fortunate to have a really good staff.”
Additional success in Frisco presented Peak with the opportunity to create an additional classic. In 2020, Peak created the Karbach Round Rock Classic hosted at Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express (Rangers AAA affiliate). After hashing out the logistics, it was greenlighted and ready to go.
With the connections made during the first years of the Frisco Classic, Peak began to gain notoriety among power conference baseball programs.
In the three years the Karbach Round Rock Classic has been played, Peak has hosted some of the best baseball players in the country, with 77 players taken in the MLB Draft from 2020 to 2022. Three of those players (Jace Jung, Drew Gilbert, and Jordan Beck) were first-round selections in the 2022 MLB Player Draft.
The Frisco Classic is entering its seventh year, and they’ve hosted just as many if not more talented players over the years. Andrew Vaughn (Chicago White Sox), Garrett Mitchell (Milwaukee Brewers), Shea Langiliers (Oakland Athletics), and Josh Jung (Texas Rangers) to name a few.
In many ways, the two baseball tournaments in the last seven years are just the tip of the iceberg. Holloway has expressed his desire to expand and create new Classics for other sports like football, basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics.
“We want to put on something that’s really good that can tap into some rabid fan bases,” Holloway said. “When you have these fan bases that are all about sports, let’s have these teams here to have a really cool event.”
For now, Peak Events looks forward to making the upcoming editions of their Classics the best ones yet, with top programs like LSU, Oklahoma, and Mississippi State being featured in the events this year.
Peak Events will continue to put on the best tournaments in the world, and show hardcore sports fans how they capture the emotions that go into an elite college baseball tournament. Without a doubt, the Frisco Classic and Karbach Round Rock Classic bring out the fans, players, teams, and quality of baseball that is the #BestOutsideofOmaha.