Here’s my take on pitch counts:
I’m not a big fan of limiting the number of innings one can pitch - but I don’t mind pitch counts for youth pitchers. That being said, if the limit is 60 pitches, a youth pitcher should be practicing at least that number of pitches in his bullpens. I think the inning limitation during these tournaments has more to do with limiting the ace pitcher from dominating the entire tournament than anything else; when you limit innings, it is usually the team with the deepest pitching that ends up winning the whole thing.
Pitchers need to practice pitching at game-like intensity during their bullpens on a regular basis. It seems like the mind-set of today is to “save the arm for the game” and then go out and throw 100+ pitches. The pitchers of today are simply not conditioned to throw that many pitches. My 13 year old son throws 100+ pitches twice a week in bullpens and then pitches in games during the weekend. He can easily go 100+ pitches in a game, which is really 180-200 pitches if you consider 30-40 pre-game bullpen pitches and 8 warm-up pitches between innings. He rarely, if ever, has any arm soreness after bullpens or games.
If someone is really hurting after pitching, he has something wrong and/or is doing something wrong (think poor mechanics, not using entire body - throwing “all arm”, etc.) I don’t think pitchers should get fatigued during games; I mean, think about it - a pitcher throws a pitch, there’s some time between the pitch, and then throws another one. He probably does a total of 5-10 minutes of actual work during a game. The rest of the time, he is standing or sitting around - he isn’t even doing much running. Sure the heat may get to him, but that’s about it. If he is conditioned to throw 100+ pitches, he should be able to do it with little effort. The best pitchers are probably more mentally tired than physically tired; and the ones who know how to use their entire bodies may get a bit fatigued in the legs. You can do all the weight lifting and long toss you want, but if you are not working on increasing your pitch count by throwing with game-like intensity on a regular basis and continually working on improved mechanics, then you will probably get consistently fatigued, staying sore, and possibly end up injured.