Ga. – After having their first game of the playoffs delayed due to
rain, Tri-State Arsenal Showcase I came out strong in their
continuation game against Kentucky Baseball Club 16u Goins on
has played solid baseball so far in the WWBA 16u National
Championship only losing one game during pool play, which was enough
to advance them to the playoffs.
much everyone is playing well,” said head coach Jeff Mazzola. “We
only have 9-10 position players so all the boys have contributed. We
play as a team and we win as a team. Everyone has been doing their
job doing (and) their part and that’s all I ask from them. We’re
7-1 right now. But obviously, that doesn’t matter until the next
game. You’re only as good as your last game.”
said John Aiello and Willie Burger are two names that stick out when
he thinks of team leaders; however, he believes “there’s no one
kid in particular, (and) they’ve all been playing well and leading
is a 6-foot-2 195-pound shortstop from Lansdale, Pa. He has been
coming to the WWBA tournaments since 2010.
love it,” added Aiello. “It’s the best tournament. We always
play good competition and it’s really fun to come down here and see
all the teams from around the country.”
who is ranked No. 50 on Perfect Game’s High School Class of 2015
National Rankings, has held a .500 batting average at the plate so
far this tournament.
don’t really worry about the rankings,” explained Aiello. “I
just try to play hard every game and help my team win. I’m just
trying to get balls over the plate, it doesn’t matter what pitch. I
try to hit a line drive up the middle, (which is) usually my
approach. I’ve been getting good pitches luckily.”
is a 2015 graduate at Germantown Academy. He has verbally committed
to play baseball at Wake Forrest after he graduates.
was looking at a bunch of schools (and) I wanted to go to a small
school with good academics,” added Aiello. “I just love
everything about it. I love the campus, the coach is good, (and they
have) a sweet field. It was just the right fit for me.”
goals mainly revolve around baseball, including furthering his career
after college; however, he is very excited to go to Wake Forrest to
play baseball while receiving a top-notch education.
want to play professional baseball (one day),” said Aiello. “I’m
just trying to do well every game. I’m really excited for college
ball, that was my goal to start.”
has been trying to get his teammate, Burger, to go to Wake Forrest.
Burger is looking at a number of different schools, and is still
been talking to Duke a lot,” explained Burger. “I really like
them a lot. Johnny’s been riding me a lot to go to Wake Forrest
with him. I’m pretty open to it. I’m going to wait and see. Both
my parents are Duke grads so I’ve got a little pressure at home to
go to Duke but they’re open to me finding the best fit for me.”
along with Aiello has been coming to the WWBA National Championships
since 2010. He also attended the 2012 and 2013 Junior National
was awesome,” said Burger about the 2013 Junior National Showcase.
“It was my second year at the Metrodome. It’s awesome. I’m a
little bummed that they’re tearing it down. It’s just a great
experience to play with the best players in the country. I love it.
It’s my favorite event to go to and I can’t wait for the national
has been doing very well in the 2013 WWBA 16u National Championship.
Burger has been playing all over the field; at catcher, first base,
third base and pitcher. Although he claims he’s “not much of a
pitcher,” he has won two games on the mound while racking up 17
strikeouts over 12 innings.
thrown two great outings for us, 2 complete games,” said Mazzola.
“We were 5-1 and we needed to win that last game so he got a
complete game giving up one run to get us unto the playoffs.”
don’t like to pitch, but whatever gets my team to win,” added
Burger. “I throw hard (but) sometimes I struggle with control. I
haven’t really pitched much in my life. I like playing third. I’ve
been playing behind the plate a lot lately. It’s coming around
we’ll just have to wait and see.”
also has been a “big hitter” this tournament. In the first round
of playoffs he hit a clutch two-run homer that really busted open
had been getting a little long on my swing last week, and (I’ve)
just been trying to focus on staying short,” added Burger. “Finally
I saw a ball well and stayed short and hit It pretty good.”
Burger and Aiello really enjoy playing for the Tri-State team.
They’ve both been playing with Tri-State Arsenal since they began
coming to Perfect Game events in 2010.
got a lot of guys who have played on this team,” said Burger. “We
got a lot of guys who just play the game the right way and it’s fun
to play with them. We’ve been doing pretty well but we’re not
Tri State Arsenal program provides travel baseball and softball
programs for the Tri-State area (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware).
The website says one of the goals of the
Arsenal program is to provide an environment to enhance and encourage
the development of skills and desires of players in respect to the
games of baseball and softball. Dynamic Los Angeles Angels outfielder
Mike Trout is their most recent, and notable, alumni of the program.
they repeatedly find themselves in the playoffs while playing at a
high level in numerous tournaments at all age levels, unfortunately
Tri-State Arsenal Showcase I saw their run in the 16u WWBA National
Championship come to an end after a tough 6-1 loss against Evoshield
Canes 16U on Thursday afternoon.