With much of the nation’s best high school talent being featured over the course of 175 games (plus several scrimmage games), there were plenty of highlights—even a few signature moments. Many of the highlights from the 80-team tournament were captured during the event by Perfect Game USA and its family of networks, notably PG Crosschecker and Baseball Web TV.
Now that the tournament is in the books and California’s ABD Bulldogs have been crowned champions, here’s our take on 10 moments that defined the event.
1. Cangelosi Emdodies Team ConceptJust like their owner and field manager John Cangelosi, who parlayed his scrappy, underdog style into a 13-year major league career, Illinois’ Cangelosi Baseball lacked superior, frontline talent. Every player on the roster was from Illinois or Indiana, and none ranked among the top 200 high school prospects nationally. But no team embodied more of a “team concept” or played the game with the same grinding, overachieving style emblematic of the 5-foot-7 Cangelosi from his own playing days. The payoff was seven straight wins, including several over high-powered “scout teams”, as the surprising Cangelosi team advanced to the championship game. It reached the final with a dramatic 3-1, semi-final tie-breaker win in two extra innings over the powerful Texas Scout Team Yankees that prompted the biggest celebration in the tournament. The game Cangelosi squad finally met its match in the final, losing 7-3 to a vastly more talented ABD Bulldog team.
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