The ABD Bulldogs won their third national/world championship of the past year, defeating the SE Texas Sun Devils 8-6 to win the Perfect Game/WWBA National Upperclass Championship in Tucson on Monday.
ABD had previously won the WWBA World Championship (Jupiter) last October and followed that up with a win in the 192 team WWBA 17U National Championship in Marietta in July. But neither of those victories was as hard fought as this win, which saw the Bulldogs win all four of their playoff games in their final at bat, including an epic 11 inning victory over Trombley Baseball in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bulldogs looked like they would make quick work of the Sun Devils in the finals, scoring four unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead. But SE Texas pitchers Ryan Bielitz and Taijuan Walker held the ABD bats quiet for the next four innings, enabling the Sun Devils to chip back and take a 6-5 lead.
ABD 2B Andre Real led off the bottom of the 6th inning with a walk and moved into scoring position on a jam shot single that landed on the right field line by 1B Travis Harrison, his fourth hit of the game. SS Brett Harrison (no relation) followed with a game tying single scoring real and after an out, EH Brad Salgado singled in Travis Harrison with the lead run. LF Robby Witt provided an insurance run by doubling home Salgado.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the 7th but RHP Ryan Keller got Sun Devils SS Gavin Cecchini to line hard to right field with 2 out and 2 runners on base to end the game. Cecchini, a 2012 prospect, went 3-4 in the final game.
Travis Harrison was named the championship's Most Valuable Player, duplicating the honor he won at the WWBA 17U National Championship. Harrison, a 2011 grad, started at four different positions for the Bulldogs and batted leadoff, going 13-22 in 7 games with 12 runs scored and 8 stolen bases.
ABD LHP Cameron Cuneo was named the Most Valuable Pitcher. The 2010 southpaw pitched 2 complete game victories, including a very strong effort in a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Marlins in the semifinals.