CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – Just weeks away from the 16u and 17u WWBA National Championships, teams not yet in the field will have their chance to earn an invitation to the prestigious National Championship events. The top four finishing teams in each age division will earn a spot in the events that kick off in July, with the champions of each age group earning an expense-free bid.
Perfect Game Park South at LakePoint will open its doors to the 16u and 17u WWBA National Championship Qualifier, a tournament that will be held for the first time. Perfect Game Park South at LakePoint consists of four state-of-the-art all-turf fields complete with outdoor LED lighting. Other various ballparks in the area will be used for this tournament as well which starts Friday, June 13th and concludes Wednesday, June 18th.
The WWBA 2015 Grads or 17u National Championship Qualifier will be made up of 42 travel ball teams coming from Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Illinois, and South Carolina.
A team that is sure to make a ton of noise in the tournament is Home Plate Maldonado. They come in with a handful of players committed to NCAA Division 1 programs. Those players include 2015s Bryant Harris (No. 39, University of Georgia commit), Tristin English (No. 120, Georgia Tech commit), Cornelius Randolph (No. 196, Clemson commit), Ethan Gillis (No. 296, Kennesaw State University commit), Adam Goodman (University of Georgia commit), and Carter Perkins (South Alabama commit). Ben Baggett (No. 232, uncommitted) is also a player to be watched.
The GBSA Blue Rays have a pair of highly rated 2015 players in Tekwaan Whyte (No. 73, uncommitted) and Bakari Gayle (No. 151, uncommitted). They played in last week’s Perfect Game-East Cobb Invitational.
The East Cobb Bulldogs 17u, who won the 17u PG/EC Invitational last weekend at Perfect Game Park South at LakePoint are sure to have a good showing in this tournament as well. They are led by Jackson Webb (2015), MVP of the PG/EC Invite, and Brando Ernest (2015), MV-Pitcher of the PG/EC Invite.
GA Jackets 17u standout Johnathan Meuse (No. 440, uncommitted) and the Kentucky Halos' Zach Hurley (No. 500, uncommitted) are both 2015-grads and should be watched closely.
A few other notable players who have already committed to play NCAA Division one college baseball that will be at this event include Trevor Craport (2015, Georgia Tech commit) from the East Cobb Twins, Tyler Fernandez (2014, Cornell commit) and Ian Miller (2015, Harvard commit) from the New York Grays 17u, Branson Holmes (2015, The Citadel commit) from the Mountain Expos, Aaron Schenkler (2014, Army) from the Grand Slam Bluerocks Carolina, and Hunter Phillips (2014, Alabama State) from the Georgia Stars Baseball Academy.
Another organization to watch out for is the Upstate Mavericks who have two teams in this tournament (Black and Orange). The mavericks consistently show well at Perfect Game tournaments.
The WWBA 2016 Grads or 16u National Championship Qualifier will be made up of 42 teams as well. These teams come from Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico.
The Marucci Houston Red comes in with a ton of talent on their roster. 2016-grads Garrett Wolforth (No. 29, Dallas Baptist commit), Jake Sullivan (No. 68, uncommitted), John Henry Gonzalez (No. 179, uncommitted), and Kevin Roliard (No. 202, uncommitted) should have close eyes on them.
The MBA Pride Elite are a team that has had success in recent Perfect Game events. They finished runner-up in last weekend’s 16u PG/EC Invitational. They are led by a trio of Alabama State commits including Kobe Lopez (2016), Tyler Myrick (2016), and Mervyl “MJ” Melendez (2017). Another player to look out for is Alejandro Toral (2017).
Some more players to keep a close watch on include 2016s Garrett Gooden (No. 40, uncommitted) from the Ninth Inning Royals 16u and Cole Jackson (No. 149, uncommitted) from the Home Plate Chilidogs 16u Bedrosian/Childs.
One team to look out for is the team from Toa Baja, Puerto Rico: the Mayo Sports Redhawks.