FORT MYERS, Fla. – It probably went without argument that this was the most wacky-wack first round of the playoffs in the brief two-year history of the Perfect Game 18U and 16U WWBA Memorial Day Classics.
On the 18U side, three of the top-six seeds were eliminated Sunday night, including No. 1 seed Chet Lemon’s Juice 18U and No. 3 seed Team Xtreme. Still alive and playing on Monday are No. 16 seed Orlando Scorpions 17U Purple and No. 14 seed FTB Pride.
Scorpions 17U Purple beat Chet Lemon’s Juice 18U, 3-0, behind a combined one-hitter from right-handers Shane Crouse and Carson Fulmer. Crouse, the starter, pitched six innings and allowed the only hit while striking out four, and located 26 of the 30 pitches he threw for strikes, according the GameChanger.
No. 14 seed FTB Pride beat No. 3 Team Xtreme, 2-1, thanks to a complete game four-hitter from right-hander Frank Grandinette.
No. 2 seed Orlando Scorpions Underclass Purple, No. 4 upstart Ocala Heat, No. 5 En Fuego Baseball 18U, No. 7 Cyclones Baseball and No. 8 Tampa Bay Warriors were among top-eight 18U seeds that escaped on Sunday.
Memorial Day’s 18U quarterfinals slate begins at 11:30 p.m., with all four games at Terry Park.
No. 16 seed Orlando Scorpions 17U Purple plays No. 8 Tampa Bay Warriors – a match-up many thought might occur in the championship game when the 18U Classic kicked-off on Friday – at the main stadium; No. 7 Cyclones Baseball takes on No. 2 Orlando Scorpions Underclass Purple at George Brett Field; No. 14 FTB Pride will go against No. 11 St. Pete Hurricanes Elite at Roberto Clemente Field; and fifth-seeded En Fuego Baseball 18U plays No. 4 Ocala Heat at Connie Mack Field.
Perfect Game No. 1 national prospect (class of 2012) right-hander Lance McCullers is expected to make the start for the Tampa Bay Warriors.
The first round of the 16U Memorial Day Classic playoff was even more unpredictable than its 18U counterpart.
Top-two seeds Orlando Scorpions 2014 and Orlando Scorpions Underclass Black both lost their first round games. 2014 fell to 16th-seeded Team Impact, 8-7, and Underclass Black was blanked by No. 15 CFBL Elite Prospects 16U, 2-0.
No. 4-seed Florida Hardballers, No. 5 FTB Louisville Slugger and No. 6 Florida Flash were also first round casualties. It sets up four Memorial Day quarterfinal pairings that feature five teams seeded 11th or higher.
Quarterfinals begin at 9 a.m. Monday at Terry Park with the following matchups:
No. 16 Team Impact vs. No. 8 Tampa Bay Warriors 16U at the main stadium; No. 15 CFBL Elite Prospects 16U vs. No. 7 Palm Beach County PAL 16U at Brett Field; No. 3 Chet Lemon’s Juice 16U vs. No. 11 Ostinger’s Baseball Academy 16U at Clemente Field; and No. 12 Orlando Reds 16U vs. No. 13 Carrollwood Gators at Mack Field.
Semifinals in both tournaments will be played at 2 p.m. and finals at 4:30 p.m., all at Terry Park.