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Scorpions begin playoffs, title chase

Tournaments : : Story
Matthew Stokes        
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Orlando Scorpions 14u Purple (4-1) may have lost their Wednesday afternoon matchup with the Puerto Rico Red Raiders, but that did not stop the Orlando, Fla.-based squad from advancing in the 2012 14u WWBA National Championship.

In this early afternoon game, the Scorpions saw their one-run lead quickly change to a three-run deficit as the Red Raiders put a four-run third inning. Despite a straight steal of home in the sixth by Chris Moore, the Scorpions came up short, losing 4-3.

I think this is the first game where we probably just didn’t execute when we needed to offensively,” said Scorpions head coach Brian Martinez. “They brought a good pitcher on the bump. He threw a lot of strikes and got ahead with the first-pitch fastball real well. That one inning where they scored their runs…we just couldn’t throw a lot of strikes so that hurt us. That’s what we’ve been doing well this whole tournament: throwing a lot of strikes and getting batters out.”

But it all worked out for the Scorpions as they advanced from Pool K by virtue of their overall run differential in the tournament. In a three-way tiebreaker with the Evoshield Canes M-A 14u Black (4-1) and the Red Raiders (4-1), the Scorpions moved on due in no small part to outscoring its first four opponents by a combined 35-4 margin.

We’ve been playing pretty well,” said Martinez after the loss to the Red Raiders. “We haven’t been giving up runs, our defense has been solid and we’ve been swinging the bats well.”

The team, made up mainly of rising high school freshmen, started practicing together this past spring.

All of those players have some pretty big hearts, and they want to win,” Martinez said. “They try not to play down to the level of their competition.”

When asked to name some of the team’s key players, Martinez mentioned third baseman Joe Skinner and Carson Crouse, who pitched second against the Red Raiders. Both will begin high school in the fall. Martinez also named shortstop Greg Lewendoski as a player to watch.

Our shortstop…he’s a beast over there,” said Martinez of Lewendoski, who will not begin high school until the fall of 2013.

The Scorpions will begin their title quest as the number 11 seed. The team will square off against the number six seed Showcase Baseball Academy Canes Black at Kell High School at 9 a.m. this morning. After this tournament, the Canes will take a break from playing in tournaments.

This is it. No more tournaments,” Martinez said. “Just a little bit of practices. They’ll take off the rest of the summer and play on their local teams in the area of Orlando. Then in September they’ll try out for the 2016 Scorpions.”

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