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Tournaments | Story | 1/14/2021

Stages set for PG East, South MLK

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Carter Jensen (Perfect Game)

Thousands of players wearing the uniforms of more than 260 teams from throughout the nation are gathering at fields in Southwest Florida and Southeast Texas this holiday weekend for the 2021 season-opening Perfect Game MLK Championships.

The 180-team PG East MLK Championship and the 82-team PG South MLK Championship kickoff on Friday at fields in and around Fort Myers, Fla., and Tomball, Texas, respectively.  This year’s South MLK takes the place of the PG West MLK Championship, which was held in the Phoenix-area from 2016-20 but suspended this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Play at the East MLK features teams in the 11u, 12u, 13u, 14u, Freshman, Sophomore, Underclass and Upperclass age divisions while the South MLK showcases action in the Freshman, Sophomore, Underclass and Upperclass divisions. All tournaments run for four days with championship games scheduled for Monday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Terry Park Sports Complex in Fort Myers is also hosting the 24th annual PG World Showcase this weekend. The World Showcase is PG’s longest-running national-level showcase event having first been staged at Terry Park in 1997; 110 prospects from the classes of 2021 and 2022 are expected this year. The 2021 PG World Uncommitted Showcase will run simultaneously with 50 class of 2021 prospects expected to be on hand.

What follows is a quick glance at each of these events:

WHAT: 2nd annual PG East Upperclass MLK Championship

TEAMS: 36

HOST COMPLEX: Lee County Player Development 5-Plex

2020 CHAMP: Central Pointe Christian Academy (Florida)

NOTABLE: Central Pointe Christian Academy Gold 18u returns to defend its title behind PGAA ‘21 shortstop Edwin Arroyo (No. 30-ranked, Florida St. commit) and ’22 righthander Luis Rujano (No. 109, South Florida) … PGAA ‘21 shortstop Casey Saucke II (No. 27, Virginia) and PGAA ‘21 catcher Carter Jensen (No. 41, LSU) are rostered with Massachusetts-based North East Baseball (NEB) National, as is ’21 outfielder Jonathan Santucci (No. 58, Duke), ’21 outfielder Treylen "TJ" White and a host of other top-300 prospects from the ’21 and ’22 classes...Tampa-based Hit Factory Pro features a roster filled with top-500 ‘21s including third baseman Cole Russo (No. 153, UCF), shortstop Jonathan Vastine (No. 167, Vanderbilt) and catcher Satchell Norman (No. 188, Florida State).

WHAT: 4th annual PG East Underclass MLK Championship

TEAMS: 24

HOST COMPLEX: Lee County Player Development 5-Plex

2020 CHAMP: Beast Mode Prime ‘21 (Louisiana)

NOTABLE: Playing under the name of Gold Culture/Beast Mode Prime, the 2020 champs are back with top ‘22s in righthander Josh Lanum (No. 413, Georgia St.) and third baseman Keegan Knutson (No. 486, South Carolina) and standout ‘23s in righthander Eduardo Fernandez (No. 136, Miami) and shortstop Antonio Jimenez (No. 296, Miami)...Indiana-based Prairie Gravel ‘22 comes in with the two highest-ranked ‘23s at the event, third baseman Cam Collier (No. 2, Louisville) and catcher Zion Rose (No. 13, Louisville)...the Florida-based PL Bulldogs counter with a trio of top-400 ‘22 prospects in third baseman Adrian Dominguez (No. 251, Miami), first baseman Jason Torres (No. 291, Miami) and third baseman Derek Bermudez (No. 399, N.C. State)...Miami’s Livan Hernandez Baseball (LHB) features left-hander Ervis Solis (No. 95, FIU) and shortstop Jonathan Gonzalez (No. 366, Miami) from the ‘23 class...Nashville’s Knights Baseball 16u Platinum comes in with top ‘23 left-handers Miller Green (No. 52, Georgia Tech) and Luke Payne (No. 420, Tennessee).

WHAT: Inaugural PG East Sophomore MLK Championship

TEAMS: 28

HOST COMPLEX: Lee County Player Development 5-Plex

NOTABLE: Coming off an outstanding fall of 2020, the Tampa Bay-based Top Tier Roos American ‘23 are back locked-and-loaded with the likes of (‘23s) third baseman Aidan Miller (No. 3, Arkansas), shortstop Cade Kurland (No. 18, Florida), shortstop Steven Milam (No. 23, LSU) and catcher Colton Wombles (No. 53, Auburn)...Florida’s Resmondo Baseball looks to challenge with several top ‘23s of its own in right-hander Brandon Olivera (No. 41, Miami), first baseman Matthew Ossenfort (No. 46), outfielder Michael Graziano (No. 72) and shortstop Ariel Antigua (No. 81, South Carolina).

WHAT: 6th annual PG East Freshman MLK Championship

TEAMS: 18

HOST COMPLEX: Lee County Player Development 5-Plex

2020 CHAMP: Aces Elite Outlaws ‘23 (Ohio)

NOTABLE: Little Caesars 15u out of Detroit looks to show their peers from the Southeast what they can do armed with a trio of highly-regarded ‘23s in third baseman Jarren Purify (No. 50, Michigan), outfielder Oliver Service (No. 230) and first baseman Zaine Toneske (No. 377) and top ‘24s in outfielder Dennis Butler (No. 96, Louisville) and shortstop Reggie Sharpe (No. 131, Michigan)...South Florida’s Elite Squad 15u comes in with third basemen Daniel Cuvet (No. 79, Miami) from the class of ‘23 and Ethan Puig (No. 81, Miami) from the ‘24 class...Youth is the order of the day for Fort Myers’ own Gulf Coast Monarchs 15u with ‘24 third baseman Andre' Modugno (No. 6, Duke) and ‘25 shortstop Carter Smith (No. 3)...Watch for Canes FL ‘24 with third baseman Anthony Tralongo (No. 23) and catcher Joshua Agriesti (No. 84).

WHAT: 5th annual PG East 14u MLK Championship

TEAMS: 28

HOST COMPLEX: Lee County Player Development 5-Plex

2020 CHAMP: Hurricanes 14u Scout Team (Florida)

NOTABLE: North Carolina’s Carolina Elite 14u National will draw plenty of attention with top ‘24s in shortstop Luke Keefer (No. 192) and lefty Brevin Bezick (No. 229) and notable ‘25s in outfielder Domaine Vann (No. 9, Miami) and righty Boston Kellner (No. 13)...The TBT Ballers National out of Boca Raton offer ’24 catcher and outfielder Xavier Rivera (No. 65, FIU) and Lou D'Alessio (No. 154)...The Florida Legends will lean on ’24 shortstop Alejandro Sardinas (No. 129) and ’25 outfielder Michael Torres.

WHAT: 6th annual PG East 13u MLK Championship

TEAMS: 28

HOST COMPLEX: Lee County Player Development 5-Plex

2020 CHAMP: TBT Ballers National

WHAT: 5th annual 12u East MLK Championship; Inaugural 11u East MLK Championship

TEAMS: 12 (12u); 6 (11u)

HOST COMPLEX: CenturyLink Sports Complex

2020 CHAMP: Kangaroo Court Roos American (12u)

WHAT: PG South Upperclass MLK Championship

TEAMS: 22

HOST COMPLEX: Premier Baseball of Texas

2020 WEST MLK CHAMP: Mid-South Prospects 2020 (Nebraska)

NOTABLE: The Arkansas-based 3n2 Sticks Baseball 18u National Team comes into the event with a roster that is deep and dangerous, loaded with top prospects from the classes of ’21 and ’22. Top ‘21s include outfielder Braylon Bishop (PGAA, No. 40, Arkansas) and Carlos Pena (No. 48, Missouri), catcher Max Soliz (No. 134, Arkansas) and shortstop Drake Varnado (No. 147, Arkansas) and noteworthy '22s in outfielder Cooper Dossett (No. 64, Arkansas), lefty Parker Coil (No. 117, Arkansas) and third baseman Colton Sims (No. 122, Arkansas); ’23 outfielder Justin Best (No. 29, Florida St.) is also rostered...The Dallas Tigers 17u Polk counter with key ‘21s in right-hander Ryan Johnson (No. 89, Dallas Baptist) and outfielder Tyler Collins (No. 108, Oklahoma St.) and ’22 shortstop Jayson Jones...Aggies National 2021 boasts the talents of six of the most highly-ranked ‘22s in the country: outfielder Andruw Jones (No. 3, Vanderbilt), shortstop Termarr Johnson (No. 4),outfielder Kayden Martin (No. 30), lefty Trenton Shaw (No. 33, Oklahoma St.) and shortstops RJ Austin (No. 42, Vanderbilt) and Alvin Keels (No. 43, Miami); ’21 third baseman Eldridge Armstrong (No. 158, San Diego St.) is also rostered with the Aggies...Trosky National 2021 out of San Jose has a roster filled with top-500 prospects including ’21 shortstop Jabin Trosky (No. 133, Oregon St.) and ’21 catcher Will Rogers (No. 198, Arizona St.)

WHAT: PG South Underclass MLK Championship

TEAMS: 16

HOST COMPLEX: Premier Baseball of Texas

2020 WEST MLK CHAMP: CCB 17u Prime (California)

NOTABLE: Top ‘22s Andruw Jones and Termarr Johnson are also rostered with the Aggies National 2022 squad at this tournament and Cooper Dossett is rostered with the 3n2 Sticks Baseball 17u National Team...Carrollton, Texas, entry USA Prime National 2022 features ’22 first baseman Wilburn Furniss (No. 80, Ole Miss), ’22 outfielder Reese Chapman (No. 104, Tennessee), ’23 outfielder Ashton Larson (No. 58, LSU) and ’23 catcher Brady Reynolds (No. 188, Stanford)...Jersey-based G-Form Artillery 2022 boasts top ‘22s in outfielder Dylan Dreiling (No. 125, Tennessee), third baseman Gavin Miller (No. 145, Auburn), righty Drew Lafferty (No. 162, Kentucky) and catcher Ike Irish (No. 164, Auburn).

WHAT: PG South Sophomore MLK Championship

TEAMS: 20

HOST COMPLEX: Premier Baseball of Texas

NOTABLE: Outfielder Drew Burress (No. 22), third baseman Trenton Lape (No. 28, LSU) and shortstop MJ Seo (No. 109, Arizona) are the top ‘23s that will lead Texas-based 5 Star Performance 16u National into this inaugural event...Trosky National 2023 features right-hander Jacob Hudson (No. 32, TCU), first baseman Zach Wadas (No. 42, TCU) and shortstop Will Matuszak (No. 111) from the ’23 class...3n2 Sticks Baseball 16u National Team comes in with outfielder Slade Caldwell (No. 25, Ole Miss) and right-hander Ross Felder (No. 93, Arkansas) from the ’24 class.

WHAT: PG South Freshman MLK Championship

TEAMS: 23

HOST COMPLEX: Premier Baseball of Texas

2020 WEST MLK CHAMP: LVR (Nevada)

NOTABLE: The Tomball-based Banditos Scout 2024 are ready to put on a show for the hometown fans with top ‘24s in catcher Cade Arrambide (No. 7, Florida) and shortstop David Hogg II (No. 32, Oklahoma); ’25 catcher Masa Chilcutt (No. 18) is also rostered with the Banditos...Trosky Platinum 2024 has highly-regarded ‘24s in catcher Burke Mabeus (No. 38), righty Ishaan Khambal (No. 51), catcher Bo Jonas (No. 63, Oklahoma) and Kale Fountain (No. 79, Florida St.)...’24 shortstop Theodore Gillen (No. 3), first baseman Elbert Craig (No. 83), outfielder Matthew Scott II (No. 60, Oklahoma) and catcher Hudson Shoaf (No. 91) headline for Lonestar National 2024-Sanders...Canes West 2024 features third baseman Matthew Champion (No. 8, Arizona St.) and Canes West 2025 is on board with outfielder Cam Caminiti (No. 20) and third baseman Vaughn Neckar (No. 23).

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