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Tournaments | Championship | 9/29/2020

Top Tier on Top Again

Tyler Russo        
Photo: Top Tier Roos American (Perfect Game)
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The same Top Tier Roos American 2023 team who won the WWBA Freshman World Championship just under a year ago is back on top of the fall circuit with a perfect weekend, and a championship, at the WWBA Sophomore World Championship.

The Jason Miller led Top Tier team is no stranger to competing at the highest level with a number of strong finishes at some of the biggest events the summer circuit has to offer.

With a co-champion finish at the National Elite Championship and a quarterfinal run at the BCS National Championship, they were hungry for a title of their own.

Pool play was a breeze as they slugged their way to a 3-0 record, led by eventual MVP Steven Milam who was electric throughout the event. He started the weekend 7-for-11 across those three pool play games and wouldn’t slow there, finishing with an event-best 16 hits in 24 at-bats to go with six walks, 16 runs scored, 11 runs driven in and 11 stolen bases.

It wasn’t just Milam’s offensive output that gave them four mercy-shortened wins leading up to the championship though, as five other hitters also finished the event hitting over the .450 mark, something that is on the surprising end given the talent this event possesses.

With Wesley Mendes, Cade Kurland and Cristofer Walley joining Milam in double-digit runs driven in, it was a team effort from top to bottom on the offensive side of things.

While hitting the ball is imperative to picking up wins in some of the shootouts we often see at this age, it is pitching depth, with strike throwers to be specific, that can lead the way to championships. Where the Top Tier team stands apart is in the fact that they brought only 12 players to the event and were able to do just that: win a championship.

In a weekend where all but one of those 12 players saw time on the mound, it was about the just 17 walks they allowed in 38 innings that made all the difference. Landen Maroudis went four strong in the semifinal win. He walked none. Aidan Miller and Kodi Deskins ate up the majority of the innings in the back-and-forth championship game, while Tommy Haggerty closed the door. They walked just three.

The MV-Pitcher of the event, Freddy Noel Beruvides Jr., got his stellar outing in during the early part of the tournament in a much-needed final pool play win to get Resmondo Baseball into the playoff bracket. He went five innings of one-run, one-hit baseball while striking out ten.

Although they fell on the losing end of the championship game, Resmondo had a number of exciting back-and-forth affairs leading up to it with a 3-2 win over the talented Eagles Baseball team in the quarterfinal round before an extra-inning game for the ages where two-way prospect Matthew Ossenfort demolished a tie-breaking no-doubt grand slam in the ninth inning to give Resmondo their berth in the championship game. The play of Michael Graziano, both defensively in centerfield and from the top of Resmondo lineup, was also one of the biggest factors in their runner-up finish.

In what was initially a back-and-forth affair for most of the championship game, it was the timely hitting in the fifth and sixth innings that put Top Tier up for good as they breezed through the final six outs on their way to the 2020 WWBA Sophomore World Championship title.
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