Tournaments | Story | 6/20/2021

3n2 Sticks Focused On Proving Its Place

Matthew Welsh        
Photo: Jayson Jones (Perfect Game)
MARIETTA, Ga. -- 3n2 Sticks Baseball continued their dominant run in the National Select Championship on Saturday, cruising to an 8-1 win in their first playoff game of the event, which brought their tournament record to 4-0.
The Arkansas-based squad is currently ranked No. 27 in the nation, and through their first three pool play games, Sticks posted a +10 run differential. That prolific dominance continued in flying fashion in game one of the playoffs. 
Sticks’ starter Parker Coil (Arkansas commit) was integral in the win. Coil’s effort finished in a one-run complete game win, in which he struck out four and only allowed three hits. Even with such an impressive outing, today’s star was quick to credit his team for their contributions as well. 
“I was just trying to go out there and throw my game and get outs,” Coil said. “I got a lot of ground balls and let my team work behind me, and hopefully, just keep doing what we’re doing. I just want to go out and compete and dominate.”
Although participating in only their second tournament of the summer to this point, it’s clear that the team’s stockpiled talent has the potential to propel the club to new heights. On the mound and in the field, combined, their roster boasts an impressive 22 Division-I commits, among the highest total in the tournament. 
Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina are the schools the majority of the players will be attending come 2022. Shortstop Jayson Jones (Arkansas commit) is the class’ fifth-highest ranked player and finished the day having reached base twice. Leadoff hitter and center fielder Justin Best had another standout performance, finishing with two hits and two runs in the game. Best, another top-50 player, is ranked No. 31 in his national class.
Other players with serious collegiate potential and the ability to impress in travel ball include left-handed pitcher Blaise Grove (South Carolina commit), righty Cooper Dossett (Arkansas commit) and catcher Tripp Landers (Texas Christian commit).
Even with a star-studded cast, the team remains firm in their pursuits and how they play the game. Team leaders stressed the team’s commitment to execute the game’s fundamentals no matter the opponent in the other dugout. Do that, and the results will follow.
“We know our roots to the game, and we have to stick to it,” Jones said. “We know how we play and when we stick to the fundamentals, great things usually happen.”
Getting to play against some of the best teams in the country is important, especially when you are one of those teams. Sticks does not take that chance for granted, and not only cherishes it, but plan to take advantage of the opportunity for individual improvement.
“It definitely does a lot for our confidence,” Jones said referencing his team’s latest exploits. “There are a lot of good teams in this tournament and good programs. And it’s a blast, we’re out here having fun and getting the job done.”
That confidence, grown out of the recent wins, is something the team only expects to increase as more games are played. But for now, a focus on self-betterment is imperative for each member of the team. Only through that cohesiveness does the team think it can achieve its full potential. 
“I think we are going to win this tournament, for sure,” said Best. "I think we’re the best team in the country and I think we have a really good chemistry on the team right now.”
Time will tell if Sticks Baseball ultimately resides atop the nation’s travel ball elite, but surely, they will have no shortage of opportunities to test that self-proclamation. After the National Select tournament, Sticks will play in both the WWBA National Championship and BCS National Championship. Both of those take later in July and will carry other powerful clubs.
But for now, focus remains on the task at-hand in Atlanta and finishing what they have started. 
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