Tournaments | Championship | 8/4/2020

Thrive Baseball Completes Undefeated Run

Jerry Miller         Connor Spencer        
Photo: Thrive Baseball
Semi-Final Game 1

The Thrive Baseball Club out of Dallas, rode the outstanding right arm of RHP, Blake McEwan (2021, Prosper, TX), two, no-doubt, home runs by high school teammates, Ryan Scott (2021, The Colony, TX) and Chase Brown (2021, The Colony, TX) and some extra base bashing late in the game, to cruise by 5 Star Performance 17u National by a score of 9-1, in a game shortened to six innings by the PG run-rule.

McEwan was sterling for six strong innings. He had a perfect game going for 3 1/3 innings and ended up allowing a scratch run, on four hits, while striking out eight and walking none. The 6-foot, 180 pound senior to be at Prosper HS, was in command from the get-go. His four pitch mix was thrown with precision throughout his spectacular outing. His 84-85 mph fastball showed outstanding arm side run and sink and was thrown with outstanding control to both sides of the plate. His three pitch secondary arsenal was also advanced. His 67 mph curveball had sharp, 12 to 6, break. His 74 mph 11 to 5 crisp and short breaking slider was a deadly swing and miss offering to righthanded hitters and completely locked up lefthanded swingers. His tumbling 72 mph change-up tunneled out of his fastball window and produced a lot of weak 5 Star swings. His efficient 73 pitch outing was one of the very best in the tournament and considering the stage, was even more impressive.

The Thrive club brought their extra base bats to the yard for the semi-final game with 5 Star. Dallas Baptist commit, Ryan Scott, 6-2, 205 pounds, gave his Thrive teammates all the runs they needed when he hit a two run, no doubt blast deep over the left centerfield wall in the bottom of the 1st.

Scott’s The Colony HS teammate, 6-3, 206 pound righthanded swinging, Chase Brown, hit a very loud three-run dinger to basically put the game away in the bottom of 5th. His well-barreled and extremely loud home run got out in a hurry.

Three doubles in the bottom of the 6th gave the winning Thrive club an eight run lead, invoking the PG run rule and giving them the 9-1 victory. Grayson College commit, Chayton Krauss (Coppell, TX) started the onslaught with a double to right field. Johns Hopkins commit, Nick Lazarra (Carrollton, TX) followed Krauss with his own ringing double down the LF line, a knock that plated Krauss with run number eight. One out later, Mansfield Legacy HS lefthanded hitter, Raef Wright (Burleson, TX) hit a ball off the right centerfield wall driving home the ninth run of the game for the winning Thrive team and closing out a well-earned semi-final victory.

Semi-Final Game 2

In the semifinal matchup of the 17u division, the Dallas Tigers took on Prospect National Team in an anticipated matchup of two teams that had their way for most of the tournament. Dallas Tigers struck first in the opening frame after loading the bases as they scratched a run across on a double play. After that one run, the game stayed in a stalemate thanks to strong performances on the mound by southpaw Preston Tabor (2021, Burleson, Tex.) for Dallas Tigers and Ryan McAffrey (2021, Amarillo, Tex.) for Prospects National Team.

McAffrey went three full innings while fanning three and allowing just the one run in the first, and was up to 84 mph with a solid three pitch mix. Dallas threatened to bust the game open in the fifth with runners on second and third, however, a grounded shot back to relief man Taylor Seay (2021, Lake Jackson, Tex.) forced the man at third into a run down for an out. Seay then picked off the runner who advanced at third on the next play.

In the top of the seventh, the Dallas Tigers loaded the bases and tacked on another run thanks to a successful suicide squeeze by Oklahoma State commit Tyler Collins (2021, Mckinny, Tex.) who flew down the line and turned his suicide squeeze into a drag base hit.

Two runs were more than enough for Preston Tabor on the hill to finish off his gem of a performance. With a mature looking four pitch mix, Tabor kept Performance National off balance the entire ball game and he never really ran into much trouble. Tabor was the clear star of the ballgame and finished allowing just three hits while fanning six in his complete game shutout to send the Dallas Tigers to the Championship.

17u South World Series Championship Game

Dallas Tigers (V)
Thrive Baseball (H)

The machine that is the Thrive Baseball Club out of Dallas, was on a mission when they walked into the Premier Baseball of Texas complex to begin play on Thursday as the 17U South World Series got underway. They closed out their march to the winner’s circle by overwhelming the Dallas Tigers in the championship contest, 12-5.

There are no holes in the collective game of Thrive. They pitch and pitch well. They hit to all fields with routine consistency, getting their barrels to and through contact with force. The middle of their order hits with noticeable raw power. They make the routine plays look ordinary and the tough plays appear routine. Their air-tight defense is rarely on the diamond very long. Coming into the championship game, the Thrive squad had scored 31 runs in five games and allowed only six. For those of us who aren’t necessarily mathematicians, that is roughly a 6-1 advantage per game.

As if their run up to the final contest of the 17U tournament wasn’t impressive enough, Thrive made sure those in attendance would certainly walk away from Tomball with a lasting image of their ability as a total team. Thrive had defeated a number of truly well-coached and fundamentally sound clubs. They had clubbed college bound pitchers and shut down hitters who will play Division I ball down the road.

Thrive got to the finals with one thought in mind. And, their “get after it” philosophy was evident from the get-go. Thrive just overwhelmed a truly outstanding Dallas Tigers team that had certainly earned their way to the finals.

The Tigers are good. Really good. They too, have all the qualities that outstanding teams have. As the lower seeded club in the championship game, they were the designated visiting club in the finals. The Tigers managed to get a runner on base to open the game but left him stranded. Before they could come to bat in the top of the 2nd inning, they were trailing Thrive 11-0.

Although the ever competitive, gritty, and resilient Tigers rallied to force the ball game to go a full seven innings, when it looked like they were going to be run-ruled early on, the 11-run early deficit was just too big of an obstacle to overcome.

A tip of the cap to the Dallas Tigers on their great tournament and runner-up finish. Congratulations to the Thrive Baseball Club on their dominant, undefeated run to the well-deserved 17U South World Series Championship.

MVP: Chase Brown – Thrive Baseball Club
MVPitcher: Preston Tabor – Dallas Tigers

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