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Tournaments | Story | 7/20/2015

GBSA Rays share 17u BCS title

Matt Czechanski     
Photo: Perfect Game

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sometimes tournament directors are left with difficult decisions. The 17u BCS Finals championship created one of those situations this week.

PG BCS Tournament Director Justin Amidon experienced several of those tough decisions this week in Fort Myers, Fla. Rain and lightning delays were the common theme causing issues with the schedule, especially during the final couple days. Teams were then seeded based on pool play performance and scheduled into the playoff brackets with the top four seeds. The East Cobb Astros earned the top seed with the GBSA Rays, Banditos of Austin and Next Level Baseball 17u rounding out the top four.

The first round was set, but weather hit quickly and that forced several teams to leave due to either travel plans or an unalterable schedule. Play resumed on Friday with 19 teams remaining of the initial 28 with three play-in games before the second round could begin.

The teams were re-seeded in order to maintain fairness and all games were scheduled to complete play on Friday, what was supposed to be last day of the tournament. The first two rounds of playoffs were completed before 11:00 a.m., and one team managed to clinch a spot in the semifinals with the other three quarterfinal games in the middle of play before yet another delay. 

Amidon went right to the top before making a final decision.

"I got a hold of PG President Jerry Ford just to make sure we did the right thing," said Amidon before deciding how to restructure the playoffs.

The tournament rules state that the highest seed is declared the champion in the event the tournament is called off before the championship game. In this case the highest seed among the teams left was the GBSA Rays from Milburn, Ga. GBSA as a team was led by righthander Charvez Carter who utilized three different arm slots on the mound to fire 14 innings for the club. In that time he earned three of GBSA’s wins and one save while amassing 17 strikeouts.

Offensively they were led by Jaquez Williams who went 9-for-15 in the tournament with three doubles and an opposite field homer in their rain-shortened quarterfinal game.

The team as a whole went undefeated in the tournament (6-0-0) going into their quarterfinal matchup against Xtreme Tornadoes 16u. They relied on dominant pitching throughout the tournament posting a 0.90 ERA with 38 strikeouts.

However, they could not stay the extra day to complete the tournament. So this left Amidon and Ford with yet another dilemma. Does Perfect Game and the BCS declare GBSA the champions and call an end to the tournament? That would have been the simplest and the cheapest way to end things.

“Jerry and I talked about every possibility,” Amidon said. “We couldn't punish the GBSA Rays for leaving, because by rule, they were the Champions. At the same time, it was difficult to tell those teams that made arrangements to stay an extra day that they were done.”

We always want to be as fair as possible to all teams,” Ford added. “With that in mind, we decided to do something that has never before been done at any PG event.”

The decision was that there would be co-champions. The GBSA Rays 17u were awarded a championship trophy and their players will receive the individual championship rings. It was also decided that the remaining teams will stay and compete for a share of the championship. That team will also receive a trophy and each of their players would also receive rings.

After it was learned that GBSA could not play out the tournament, the highest seeded team left in the tournament, Next Level 17u, said they also could not stay. So again, by rule, they received a second place trophy. This created a scenario where there would be co-runner-ups, with the other coming from the loser of the game played on Saturday.

“We were going to do everything in our power, at all costs, to give every team willing to stay a shot at being co-champions,” Amidon stated of the decision.

We can't allow the cost to keep us from being as fair as possible,” Ford again added. “Rules are important, but nothing is more important than being fair.”

2015 17u BCS Finals co-Champions
GBSA Rays 17u and Elite Squad Select 17u

2015 17u BCS Finals co-Runner-Up
Next Level and Team Elite Roadrunners 17u

2015 17u BCS Finals Third Place teams
Xtreme Tornadoes 16u and IBAHS 2016

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