Tournaments | Story | 6/10/2017

Rawlings SE continues success

Tiffany Seal        
Photo: Perfect Game

EMERSON, Georgia—The Rawlings Southeast 17u National team is coming into Perfect Game’s 2017 17u WWBA National Championship Qualifier with what most would consider a stacked team. Rawlings Southeast started its tournament on a high note Friday morning, beating Academy Raiders 16u, 8-1, and carried its success into Saturday, beating Team Elite 17u Nation 4-1 and East Cobb Barrett 17u, 9-1.

Game 1 starter, righthander Patrick Conlin, went just one inning of scoreless, three-hit baseball, with one strikeout and was relieved by fellow righthander Zack Hunsicker. Hunsicker ate most of the innings, going four, with one hit and one earned run.

“We got a lot of good pitchers that get ground balls, and we know that once it gets on that [left] side of the field, it’s going to be an out, so it’s a nice luxury to have,” said Rawlings Southeast head coach Jordan Robinson.

Rawlings Southeast has eight players ranked in Perfect Game’s top 500 for the 2018 class. The left side of the infield in particular has some intriguing talent, as it consists of third baseman Cade Hungate, who is committed to Florida State, and shortstop Trevon Flowers, who is headed to Kentucky.

Offensively, Rawlings Southeast had a solid day up and down the lineup and showed patience at the plate. They were able to get to Elite Nation’s pitchers early and often, racking up nine hits in the first game, and continued the trend in the nightcap with 11.

“We just competed the whole game,” said Robinson. “We scored early and had good energy early, we never gave up even though we had a nice little lead there. But good energy was what we had the whole time.”

In Game 2, the team continued its strong effort on the mound, throwing righthanders Gavin Bloodworth and Cooper Davidson, who combined to go just five innings after run ruling East Cobb Barrett.

“We’ve been with this group three years in a row,” said Robinson. “We know when to add them and once you have good players, they want to play with good players. We’ve been lucky to have this group for a few years, and look forward to watching them in the future.”

Flowers is most likely one of those players to be watching into the future. The Wildcat commit had a solid day at the plate, going 2-for-4 and scoring a run in the day game, and 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and two RBIs in the night game. He also stood out in the field too, showing good instincts early on in the first game, with a heads up play to nab a runner at second after a bloop single to center.

“Trying to go out there and play my hardest,” said Flowers said of his approach when he takes the field. “Hit the ball, play good defense, pitch well and get wins [is what we are looking to do at these tournaments.] You face good players, and when you face good players, you get better.”

Rawlings Southeast National will look to do just that heading into Game 4 against Rawlings Xtreme at 11:30 a.m., Sunday at Centennial High School.

The winner of this tournament receives and automatic bid and paid invite to the 2017 17u WWBA National Championship. Three additional teams will be awarded spots in the tournament that do not already have a spot.

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