EMERSON, Ga. – The WWBA National Championship series continues as the WWBA 18u National Championship rolls into the Atlanta area. The event starts on Friday, June 27th and runs until Friday, July 4th at Perfect Game Park South at LakePoint, as well as a variety of other local fields in the area.
This marks the 13th edition of this tournament, and the field is set for 144 teams, bringing in some of the top talent in the entire country. Teams from 22 states including Georgia, Alabama, Florida, New York, California, South Carolina, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Oregon are ready to start their quest for a WWBA title.
Last year’s tournament was washed away by the rain, but the Dulin Dodgers 18u were declared the winner after they earned the top seed coming out of pool play.
This year, a great deal of talent is gearing up to take on LakePoint. The Atlanta Blue Jays are one of the local teams that have a ton of talent. They are led by a group of 2015s including Kep Brown (No. 30, uncommitted), Dayton Dugas (No. 102, uncommitted), Eric Feliz (No. 129, Notre Dame commit) and Erikson Lanning (No. 191, uncommitted).
Two East Cobb Baseball teams should be watched headed into the tournament. The East Cobb Astros 16u have talent in both the 2015 and 2016 class. Their 2015 class is led by Reggie Pruitt (No. 83, Vanderbilt commit). Their 2016s include Will Benson (No. 30, uncommitted), Daniel Seres (No. 92, uncommitted), Braxton Garrett (No. 113, uncommitted), Conor Davis (No. 123, uncommitted), Jose Layer (No. 175, uncommitted), Matthew Cole (No. 187, uncommitted), and Xzavion Curry (No. 196, uncommitted). The East Cobb Yankees 18u also have a wide-range of talent. They are led by a duo of 2015s that are already committed to play at NCAA Division One baseball programs in the Southeast. Those players include Jonathan Hughes (No. 74, Georgia Tech commit), Shane Tucker (No. 101, University of Georgia commit). Both teams are sure to contend for the title.
Team Elite Prime also has talent and should be a team to watch out for. They are led by 2014s Isiah Gilliam (No. 44, Chipola College commit) and Tucker Baca (No. 121, Arizona State). They also have talent in the 2015 class. Those players include Nick Neidert (No. 65, South Carolina commit) and Bryce Denton (No. 166, uncommitted).
Teams from out of town are bringing in talent of their own in hopes to win a WWBA National Championship for their organizations. The East Coast Baseball Elite, from Cordova, Tennessee, have talent in three different grad classes. They are led by 2014-grad Matt Morgan (No. 156, Alabama commit), 2015-grads Dallas Woolfolk (No. 173, Mississippi commit) and Sam Finnerty (No. 194, South Carolina commit), and 2016-grad Greer Holston (No. 35, Mississippi commit).
Two out of state programs, the Midland Redskins and the San Diego Show, with a rich history of producing talent will also be in attendance. The Midland Redskins come in with the most ranked players of any team in the tournament. They are led by a stout 2014 class including Zach Shannon (No. 34, Ohio State commit), Gregory Deichmann (No. 49, LSU commit), Justin Smith (No. 51, Miami, FL commit), Jeren Kendall (No. 67, Vanderbilt commit), Brendan Spagnuolo (No. 110, Vanderbilt commit), Alex Lange (No. 134, LSU commit), Liam Sabino (No. 148, Vanderbilt commit), Jonah Patten (No. 155, Arkansas commit). They also have 2015-grad Greyson Jenista (No. 175, Wichita State commit), and 2016-grads Austin McNicholas (No. 45, Texas commit) and Tyler Duvall (No. 46, Vanderbilt commit).
The San Diego Show is bringing in a ton of talent from the West Coast. They are led by 2014s Tim Susnara (No. 84, Oregon commit), Todd Isaacs, Jr. (No. 107, Palm Beach State commit), and Stetson Woods (No. 129, Fresno State commit). They also have a strong 2015 class led by Drew Finley (No. 46, Southern California commit) and Dillon Paulson (No. 96, uncommitted).
Some other notable talent that will be in attendance this week are 2014s Reese Cooley (No. 46, Chipola College commit) of Next Level Upperclass, Kel Johnson (No. 52, Georgia Tech commit) of the East Cobb Astros 18u, Tristan Rojas (No. 106, Grayson County College commit) of Tigers Sports Club Select, Kyle Wright (No. 196, Vanderbilt commit) of Knights Baseball 18u National, and Ryan Avidano (No. 198, University of Georgia commit) of the 212 A’s 18u.
Other notable 2015s in attendance include Brandt Stallings (No. 23, Georgia Tech commit) of the Georgia Roadrunners 17u, Alonzo Jones (No. 32, Vanderbilt commit) of the East Cobb Astros 18u, Chad Smith (No. 49, University of Georgia commit) of Marquis Grissom Baseball, Tekwaan Whyte (No. 75, uncommitted) of the GBSA Blue Rays, Will Neely (No. 84, Tennessee commit) of Knights Baseball 18u National, Blakely Brown (No. 98, University of Georgia commit) of the Georgia Roadrunners 17u, Christopher Cullen (No. 124, South Carolina commit) of the 6-4-3 DP Cougars 18u, Connor Eason (No. 179, Virginia commit) fo the Evoshield Canes North 17u, and Alex Webb (No. 181, Alabama commit) of the DoubleDay Rockies 18u.
Two other notable 2016s in attendance are Seth Beer (No. 7, uncommitted) of the Georgia Roadrunners 17u and Josh Smith (No. 89, LSU commit) of the McDonalds Bears.
17u WWBA Elite Round Robin
This is the 1st year Perfect Game has put on the 17u WWBA Elite Round Robin, which will start Sunday, June 29th and go until Wednesday, July 2nd at Perfect Game Park South at LakePoint. This event will serve as a tune for teams before the 17u WWBA National Championship, which starts on Friday, July 4th. This is a round robin format and no champion will be crowned.
16 teams make up the field from 8 different states including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Texas, and North Carolina.
A great deal of talent will be shown off at this event. The Atlanta Blue Jays 17u come in with big talent in the 2015 class. They are lead by Kep Brown (No. 30, uncommitted), Dayton Dugas (No. 102, uncommitted), Eric Feliz (No. 129, Notre Dame commit), Lorenzo Hampton (No. 162, uncommitted), and Erikson Lanning (No. 191, uncommitted).
Chandler World, from York, Pennsylvania, comes in with elite talent in the 2015 class as well. They are led by Devin Davis (No. 24, Loyola Marymount commit), Greg Pickett (No. 26, uncommitted), Travis Blankenhorn (No. 57, Kentucky commit), Brendan Illies (No. 114, North Carolina commit), Zack Kesterson (No. 141, Duke commit), Brandon Perez (No. 148, Oregon commit), and Andrew Noviello (No. 184, Maine commit).
Another local Atlanta team, HP Maldonado, has a great deal of talented players in attendance at this event. They are led by 2015s Cornelius Randolph (No. 17, Clemson commit), Tristin English (No. 37, Georgia Tech commit), and Bryant Harris (No. 66, uncommitted).
The New England Ruffnecks, from Boston, Massachusetts, have a lot of talent coming down from the Northeast. They are lead by 2014-grad Isan Diaz (Vanderbilt commit) and 2015s Jake Nelson (No. 142, uncommitted), Jacob Stevens (No. 153, Boston College commit), and George Hewitt (No. 154, uncommitted).
The Prospects National Team from Kyle, Texas is back at LakePoint with a group of talented players. They are led by 2015s Nicholas Shumpert (No. 14, Kentucky commit) and Jordan Stephens (No. 188, uncommitted). Also, look out for 2016-grad David Hamilton (No. 105, uncommitted).
The Scorpions 2015 Prime, from Altamonte Springs, Florida have seven ranked players on their roster, tying Chandler World for the most by any team at this event. They are lead by 2015-grads Brendan Rodgers (No. 2, FSU commit), Nick Fortes (No. 47, Mississippi commit), Cole Sands (No. 72, FSU commit), Ramon Alejo (No. 82, Mississippi commit), Jackson Lueck (No. 171, FSU commit), and Bowden Francis (No. 185, uncommitted). They also have a talented 2016 player in Drew Parrish (No. 142, uncommitted).
Another team with some very talented players is the South Charlotte Panthers 2015 from Charlotte, North Carolina. They are lead by 2015-grad Garrett Davila (No. 150, Tennessee commit). They also have a very strong 2016 class led by Evan Odum (No. 53, North Carolina commit), Luke Robinson (No. 76, North Carolina commit), Jake Holtzapple (No. 100, uncommitted), and Nick Bruno (No. 186, North Carolina commit).
Team Citius Espy, from Richardson, Texas, will also be a team to keep an eye on. They are lead by 2015-grad Wesley Rodriguez (No. 70, uncommitted) and two 2016s in David Hamilton (No. 105, uncommitted) and Jacob Parrott (No. 168, uncommitted).
Another notable player to look out for is 2015-grad Austin Smith (No. 41, Florida Atlantic commit) of the Easton Rockets.