Photo: Perfect Game

Banditos are champs at WWBA 17u

Tournaments : : Story
Matthew Stokes        
Published: Friday, July 13, 2012

MARIETTA, Ga. – Fueled by a three-run fourth and solid pitching, the number 16 seed Houston Banditos Black (11-1) won 4-0 against the number 30 seed Alabama Seminoles 17u (9-2-1) in a rain-shortened finale, claiming the 2012 WWBA 17u National Championship.

Bryce Welborn (2013, Northland Christian School, Texas) pitched a complete game four-hitter, working his way through a wild pitch, two hit batsmen and three walks to record the shutout victory. For his efforts, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound right-hander earned Most Valuable Pitcher honors. Overall the Texas Tech verbal commitment threw 9- 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and three walks while striking out eight.

In a game that started nearly four and a half hours later than originally scheduled, the Banditos drew first blood on a Kacy Clemens (2013, Memorial H.S., Texas) RBI groundout in the second. Later on, the Houston, Texas-based squad plated three runs in the fourth, keyed by run-scoring hits off the bats of Robie Rojas (2013, Jersey Village H.S., Texas) and Ryne Birk (2013, Seven Lakes H.S., Texas).

In an odd sequence of events, the Seminoles’ Dylan Ingram (2013, The Edgewood Academy, Ala.) smashed a groundball to Banditos second baseman Zane Gurwitz (2013, Winston Churchill H.S., Texas), whose flip to the shortstop Birk forced out the runner heading into second. Birk’s throw to first base eluded Clemens, but the first baseman alertly fired home to nail Tyler Lynn (2013, Smiths Station H.S., Ala.) at home plate, completing a 4-6-3-2 double play. Following the play, heavy rain began to fall, effectively ending the game and giving the Banditos the championship.

Following the game, Keegan Thompson (2013, Cullman H.S., Ala.) earned Most Valuable Player honors after hitting .500 with four extra-base hits (including two home runs), 13 RBIs, 13 runs, four walks and three stolen bases. On the mound, the Auburn verbal commitment tossed 11 and two-thirds innings with four walks and 18 strikeouts, finishing with a 1.20 earned run average.

The Banditos scored 87 runs and allowed 17 overall while the Seminoles plated 82 and surrendered 35 in the tournament.

Roger Clemens, whose son Kacy plays for the Banditos, holds the championship trophy

2012 WWBA 17u National Championship MVPitcher: Bryce Welborn

Due to the rain, we were not able to take pictures of the 2012 WWBA 17u National Championship runner-up Alabama Seminoles or tournament MVP Keegan Thompson.
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