FORT MYERS, Fla. -- We should have known it would end this way. This predictable outcome was as plain and obvious as the grainy infield conditioner that coated our shoes. And it wasn't a conclusion we should have reached just based on the events of the last two days. No, we should have seen this coming as early as last Thursday, when the Home Run Challenge and Fastest Man competition at the 16u PG BCS Finals were cancelled due to rain.
On Wednesday afternoon, six days later, rain forced a premature end to the entire tournament, and the playoffs' No. 1 seed -- the Houston (Texas) Heat Black -- was named the 16u PG BCS Final Perfect Game National Champion. Boca Thunder Baseball ( Boca Raton, Fla.) was declared the runner-up and the South Florida Elite Squad-Louisville Slugger 16u (Miami, Fla.) finished in third-place, also based on their playoff seeding.
"Everybody (at this tournament) is tough so we just try to go one game at a time and hopefully we end up in the dance in the end," Houston Heat Black head coach Jeremy Knox told Perfect Game on Wednesday. "You always want to do well, but we don't ever talk about championships. Of course we want to win one, but we just play the game the right way each time and hopefully we come out on the top at the end."
The event was plagued by rain over its entire six-day run. It is not uncommon for afternoon rain showers to develop in southwest Florida in the summertime, but the rainfall totals over the past six days -- right around 6.5 inches -- was much more than the norm.
The last of the pool-play games at the 16u PG BCS Finals were completed Thursday morning and one playoff game -- a 4-0 win by South Florida Elite Squad-Louisville Slugger over Teams Rawlings-Baker -- was also completed before the lightning warning siren sounded and a heavy deluge hit the area right around 2:30 p.m.
The Houston Heat Black earned the playoffs' No. 1 seed by completing pool-play unbeaten at 6-0 and combined to beat those six opponents by a score of 55-6. Boca Thunder Baseball and the South Florida Elite Squad-Louisville Slugger 16u were also 6-0 in pool-play and outscored their opponents by a combined 44-8 and 59-10, respectively.
"What I'm trying to do with this group -- I mean, it's tough in Texas but that's not the only baseball (being played)," Knox said Wednesday. "I try to show them the entire baseball world and show them the big picture, and it's always great to see someone you don't know and see other talent from across the country.
"... This is our third year at a Perfect Game event and you can't beat the exposure," he said. "Our kids like the challenge and they seem to get excited every time we come here, so I can't ask for anything else."
A tournament Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Pitcher will be named when the All-Tournament Team is announced next week.
Play at the PG WWBA 2017 Grads or 14u National Championship was also cancelled Wednesday. That tournament resumes Thursday with the first round of the 11-team playoffs kicking off at 1 p.m. at Terry Park. The top five playoff seeds receive byes directly into the quarterfinals which are scheduled for 3 p.m. at Terry Park. The semifinals are scheduled for 5 p.m. with the championship game set for 7 p.m. at the main stadium at Terry Park.
2013 16u BCS Final second place finish: Boca Thunder Baseball
2013 16u BCS Final third place finish: South Florida Elite Squad-Louisville Slugger