Super25 : : General
Friday, July 21, 2017

Boca Hitmen claim 11u title

Bryan Cooney        
Photo: Perfect Game

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A perfect week ended in style for the Boca Hitmen Ultra, as they built an early advantage and got a strong outing from K.J. Scobey on the mound resulting in a 7-3 victory over South Dekalb Tribe-Gold to take the 2017 11u PG Super25 National Championship.

“We were really hoping we would match up against the Tribe because they had such great wins coming back in games and they had great energy and you want to compete against teams like that,” Hitmen coach Creag Harry said. “They were a great team to play against and both teams had a lot of respect for each other. It’s what the game is all about.”

In a matchup of 6-0 clubs that worked through the playoff bracket to meet in the title game at Centurylink Sports Complex Saturday, the Tribe jumped ahead early in the first inning. Jacori McGee (2025, Smyrna, Ga.) lined a one-out single to center, swiped second base and came around to score as Joesph Dawson (2025, Peachtree City, Ga.) grounded a single through the left side to make it 1-0.

The Hitmen had an instant reply in the bottom half, as they mounted a two-out rally which began as Anthony Tralongo (2023, Wellington, Fla.) nearly tied the game with one swing of the bat, but settled with a double off the fence in center. A wild pitch and a passed ball on ball four to Niko Benestad (2023, Coconut Creek, Fla.) brought Tralongo home to tie the game, and after an error on an attempted force play at second that could have ended the inning, Corey Kling made it hurt as he bounced a single into center to bring home both runners and give the Hitmen a 3-1 advantage.

In the second, the Hitmen tacked on two more runs as they again would strike with two outs. With runners at second and third, Rylan Lujo (2023, Coconut Creek, Fla.) hit a grounder into the hole at shortstop and beat the throw to score the lead runner. Brayden Slade (2023, Coconut Creek, Fla.) never stopped running from second, making it a 5-1 game.

The Tribe got a surge in the fourth by their same two that got it going in the first inning, as McGee led the inning with a leadoff triple to right and came into score as Dawson lined a double to center to make it 5-2. Dawson was hung up in between second and third as Scobey had him dead to rights on a pickoff play, but Scobey’s throw to third went awry allowing Dawson to scamper home to cut the margin to 5-3.

The Tribe had another chance to cut into the lead in the fifth after getting a runner to third with one out, but Scobey picked up a huge strikeout and got a flyout to center to stem the tide.

In the bottom half of the inning, aggressive baserunning resulted in two more runs coming across for the Hitmen as Nate Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch and Scobey scored all the way from second on a botched pickoff attempt.

Play was halted with two outs with the Hitmen still batting in the fifth, and after heavy rains rendered the field unplayable for the rest of the day, the game was called.

Harry harped on his club’s defensive efforts the entire tournament to along with stout pitching and offense coming from all over the lineup.

“In tight games, we try to make out defense stand out,” Harry said. “Taking away runs is just as good as putting runs up on the board and the we get the kids to approach practice just as we would be in games. Everything is live and it gets the kids reps offensively, defensively and on the bases.”

Harry noted that this same roster has been together from last year to this summer and the bonds they have created have impacted their success as much as their play on the diamond.

“All 11 guys have been able to camp out together the last year for these tournaments and they are all each other’s best friends. They pick each other up when they make mistakes. All we ask out of them is to give it 100 percent and respect the game win or lose and they’ve worked really hard at it.”

Scobey (2023, Lakeland, Fla.) earned Most Valuable Pitcher honors after striking out seven to pick up the win in the championship game and finished with 10 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings for the week.

Tralongo earned Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament, as he batted .571 (8-for-14), with three doubles, seven RBI and blasted a home run in their quarterfinal victory on Thursday.

2017 11u PG Super25 National Championship MVP: Anthony Tralongo

2017 11u PG Super25 National Championship MVP: K.J. Scobey

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